Govt. Mishandled allowance issue -ZANUT

Zambia National Union of Teachers

ZNUT says the government mishandled the issue surrounding teachers’ double class and responsibility allowances.

And Basic Education Teachers’ Union of Zambia (BETUZ) general secretary Jeffrey Simuntala has urged teachers countrywide to go back to work as government has rescinded its decision to suspend double class and responsibility allowances.

In an interview yesterday, Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) general secretary Newman Bubala said the government would have carried out an audit to recognize teachers entitled to double class and responsibility allowances countrywide before suspending the allowances.

“There was a lapse on the part of government because they were supposed to do their own home work by identifying those who were not eligible to get the allowances. They were supposed to carry out a staff audit to see who deserves to get and who does not deserve to get,” he said.

“The government is the one which puts teachers on the pay roll. But where were they when people were getting money they are not entitled to. It was a matter of monitoring and evaluating what was going on to deal with irregularities.”

Bubala urged the government to be sincere in its dealings with teachers by honouring its commitments.

“Most of our members who are eligible were not even receiving the double class. So, we are appealing to the government to pay our members double class and responsibility allowances because it is subject to review every year,” said Bubala.

And Simuntala urged to teachers to go back to work as government had rescinded its decision to suspend allowances.

“Our appeal to the teachers is that they should remain calm and go back to work because we have resolved the matter amicably. The matter has come to a rest now. Meaning that, those teachers who are eligible will now get back their allowances with a one month arrear,” he said.

Simuntala however, said teacher unions were not happy in the manner government handled the issue of allowances.

“Of course, there are some teachers who have been getting double class and responsibility allowances, but are not eligible. Those are the teachers they were calling ghost teachers. But the manner in which allowances were removed, it was not good. But we are happy that we resolved the matter after having protracted meetings with relevant authorities,” said Simuntala in an interview yesterday.

On Monday the government announced the suspension of teachers’ responsibility and double class allowances, saying that they wanted to prevent ‘ghost’ teachers from getting the allowances.

But teachers countrywide threatened to go on an indefinite strike if the government did not rescind its decision to suspend the allowances.