GOVERNMENT has awarded salary increments of between 4.3 percent and 19.4 percent for 2016 to teachers in different grades, Minister of General Education John Phiri has said.
And Government has recruited 4,450 teachers out of the 29,890 applicants.
Dr Phiri told a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that Government and the four teacher unions concluded negotiations for improved salaries and conditions of service and signed the collective agreement.
“The four unions that include Basic Education Teachers Union of Zambia (BETUZ), Professional Teachers Union of Zambia (PROTUZ), Secondary School Teachers Union of Zambia (SESTUZ), and Zambia National Union of Teachers have introduced a contributory public service funeral insurance scheme,” Dr Phiri said.
He said the scheme is a response to teachers’ standing concerns about the inadequacies of the funeral grants as provided for in the current collective agreement.
Dr Phiri said central to the negotiations was the desire to correct the distortions arising from the creation of the single-spine salary structure.
He said this has resulted in the separation into different salary grades of officers previously clustered in salary Grade H.
And Dr Phiri says Government has successfully concluded recruitment of teachers.
“Out of a total of 29,890 applications that the Ministry of General Education received from all parts of the country, 4,450 applicants were selected depending on available vacancies in each province,” he said.
Dr Phiri said the 2015 selection process was rigorous and started at the district level through to the national selection committee.
The national selection committee has representation from the Ministry of General Education, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Teaching Service Commission, Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) and provincial education oifficers.
He said Northern Province recorded a higher number of selected applicants at 609 while Lusaka Province had 273 successful applicants.
Dr Phiri also said 8,078 teachers have upgraded their qualifications from diploma to degrees while 43,521 certificate holders have upgraded their qualification from certificates to diplomas.
“Currently, there are about 32,853 teachers who have not yet upgraded themselves to acquire diplomas,” he said.
Dr Phiri added: “Arising from the audit qualification report, Government and the teachers’ unions agreed to migrate teachers with higher qualifications to appropriate grades by December 15, 2015 but will start getting their new salaries on January 1, 2016 as contained in the signed collective agreement.”