The Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) in Eastern Province says it is not happy with government for removing teacher’s responsibility and double class allowances.
Regional Chairperson, Alakwisa Phiri said it was sad that teachers who were supposed to be motivated this time around had their allowances removed from their pay.
Mr Phiri noted that the way teachers could be motivated was through such allowances, adding that the extra labour which teachers put in during their work was being appreciated through such allowances.
He said government should have made an assessment to find out who was eligible and not eligible to get the allowances before deciding to remove them.
‘’ Teachers are bitter with the removal of the double class and responsibility allowances because this is where they get motivation for the extra work they are putting in,’’ Mr Phiri said.
He observed that some rural schools did not have adequate number of teachers and the few educationists that were there were teaching more than one grade and they needed the double class allowances.
Mr Phiri said the union did not expect the pronouncement to remove allowances from teachers’ payroll by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education who he said knew the shortage of teachers in some schools and the extra work they were putting in.
He said cleaning the payroll did not require automatic removal of everything, saying as the union was asking teachers to continue teaching, government should immediately pay arrears after sorting out everything.
Mr Phiri warned that if anything happened as a result of government’s refusal to give teachers their arrears, the union should not be held responsible with the move the teachers would take.
He also said teachers were not happy with the purported salary increments, adding that after making calculations it was realised that the salaries would still be little by the time the teachers start getting them in September this year owing to the increment of prices in most essential commodities.
Some teachers asked by ZANIS revealed that KR 500-00 double class and KR 500-00 responsibility allowances were removed from their payroll by government.
This means that some teachers who have been getting both allowances, have had KR 1000-00 allowances deducted from their payroll.
They also said retention allowance was scrapped off from their pay two years ago without explanation to date.
Government is in the process of cleaning up the payroll of teachers by removing ghost workers starting by removing the responsibility and double class allowances from their pay.