September 14, 2004

Ministry of Education tells striking teachers to resume work

The Ministry of Education has appealed to striking teachers to resume work as the action is illegal. Ministry public relations officer Victor Phiri said that there was no dispute between Government and any of the teachers' unions in the country. According to Mr Phiri, the strike in selected schools, especially on the Copperbelt, was illegal and advised teachers to go back to classes.
Meanwhile, the Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) on the Copperbelt has resolved to go on strike until Government pays the housing allowance it owes teachers. ZNUT is also demanding an apology from Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Gabriel Namulambe for his utterances against teachers in the media recently. Provincial chairman Joe Kasaka said that teachers would not resume work until their 40 per cent housing allowance was paid in full to deserving teachers. According to Mr Kasaka, the union also expected 10 per cent of their basic salary to be paid as allowances to teachers occupying dilapidated institutional houses.
It is further demanding that money released to the provinces by Government be disbursed quickly to various districts to avoid delays in teachers' salaries. The teachers said Government should begin to look at the plight of teachers much more seriously in order to safeguard their welfare. The Secondary School Teachers Union (SESTUZ) members resolved to go on strike last week, demanding that Government should adjust salary scales for degree and diploma holders in the province. (The Times of Zambia, Ndola)

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