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No bonuses for striking teachers

GOVERNMENT has said that all teachers who are absconding classes while engaging in the ongoing labour action will not get their annual bonuses, as the Public Service Commission this week starts paying civil servants’ salaries and bonuses.

Public Service and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima says Government is implementing a no-work no-pay principle effective immediately.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education last week Friday submitted names of teachers who absconded work to the Public Service Commission.

“If teachers don’t work then they will not get bonus. Those who will report to work will get bonuses. Government will start paying bonuses this month while some will get their bonuses next month.

“We are going to make sure that all civil servants get bonuses before Christmas,” said Mavima.

Teachers’ unions have insisted they want at least $500 per month and equipment like masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer to protect themselves against COVID-19.

Mavima said teacher salaries, about US$100 a month, including a US$75 “COVID-19 allowance” is all the government can afford.

“It is in this context that we are saying to civil servants please be realistic, exercise moderation in the manner in which you demand salary increases, we don’t want salary increases that will upset the stability that we have so far realized and further torpedo the economic recovery that we have started to see,” Mavima said.

Without teachers in class, school children are the ones left paying the price.

Government has previously threatened to replace defiant teachers if they don’t soon return to the classrooms. ■

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