Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) has sought a review of disbursement of leave grant so that teachers should receive it when they observe the longest holiday.
This comes amid an outcry from a majority of teachers that they have not received their 2021 leave grant which they had expected would accompany December’s salaries.
In an interview on Wednesday, TUM president Willy Malimba said their expectation was that the leave grant, a once off annual allowance paid to all civil servants, would be used during the festive holidays.
He said: “We have received complaints from many teachers that they haven’t received their leave grant as of today. Unfortunately, the arrangement which government set is that the allowances can be paid any day within a particular financial year.
“We want to seek clearance that teachers should be given their grants during the longest holiday so that they can use it for transport and other expenses during that period.”
In a separate interview, Civil Servants Trade Union general secretary Mabvuto Kaonga concurred with Malimba, saying teachers should be given a special clearance.
Said the general secretary: “The civil servants receive their leave grants through their particular ministries, departments and agencies [MDAs]. That can be done any time within the financial year.
“The 2021/22 financial year runs until March. So, the allowances can still be paid early next year. Nonetheless, TUM has a point because it is during the teachers’ longest holiday that they may need this money the most.”
He also expressed concern with some institutions’ delays in processing the payment, observing that some hyet to start.
According to the Department of Human Resource Management and Development, those in grade A, with an entitlement of 36 leave days, receive K112 000, those on grades B and C receive K104 000 and K96 000 respectively. The least grades, Q to R entitled to 15 leave days, receive K31 000.
Speaking on Thursday when she opened TUM’s 23rd Congress in Lilongwe, Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje said the union and government need to engage in social dialogue to set standards, develop policies and devise programmes that promote a decent working environment for teachers.
She said this could enhance a functional education system for the betterment of the teaching profession.