Friday, April 26, 2013

Government yet to pay teachers 52bn/- in salary arrears,say TTU

Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU) has disapproved of government claims made in Parliament that 52bn/- have been paid to teachers as salary arrears, saying the matter is still under discussion.
The union urged the government to hasten the process of responding to its demands or else teachers will resort to strike.
“We’ve a document from the President’s Office (Public Service Management) Permanent Secretary showing that there are no payments made to teachers as stated by the minister,” TTU president Gratian Mukoba said.
He gave this clarification in Dar es Salaam yesterday when talking to reporters over the issue.
He said government owes the teachers 22bn/- as other allowances while 30bn/- are for salary arrears.
He claimed that the government was trying to weaken the issue in the eyes of the public to undermine teachers’ faith to their organization.
“TTU and the government are still in negotiations over the matter and no agreement has been reached,” he explained.
Mukoba accused the government of being indifferent in honouring teachers’ demands.
TTU has lodged its complaints in court to seek justice, a process which the government says, is a wrong path towards reaching amicable solution.
 “According to a letter dated February 22, 2013 from the Attorney General with reference AGCC/A130/17, although there is a case in court, negotiations ought to continue in good faith,” Mukoba quoted the letter as saying.
He said the government is forcing teachers to go on strike, adding that “we’re not scared to do so for our own benefit.”
“TTU is ready to negotiate with the government in a move aimed at strengthening the education sector,” Mukoba said.
On Wednesday, Education and Vocational Training minister Dr Shukuru Kawambwa told the Parliament that the government had paid 52bn/- as salary arrears to teachers in primary and secondary schools.
He was responding to a supplementary question by Christowaja Mtinda (Special Seats, Chadema) who had said government has failed to pay 27bn/- owed to primary and secondary school teachers.
In addition, the lawmaker had queried on the whereabouts of 500,000/- approved by the House last year as hardship allowance for teachers working in rural areas.
The MP had claimed that the money was spent on other activities in the ministry instead of being paid to teachers.
Responding, the minister said “until January this year, the government had already paid salary arrears it owed teachers.”
He, however, said that following an evaluation undertaken by TTU and the government, it was discovered that the latter had a debt amounting to 52bn/- instead of the previous 29bn/-.


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