Malawi government takes teachers strike to industrial court

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LILONGWE (MalawiTalk) – Government has sought the intervention of the Industrial Court in the ongoing teachers strike.

The Lilongwe Industrial Relations Court has on Fridayt adjourned to Monday next week an interparty hearing between Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) and Government.

On Thursday, government through Attorney General applied to the court seeking an injunction against the teachers’ stay away, calling it illegal.

But  TUM has told the Court’s Deputy Chairperson, Mr Haward Pemba that they got late Attorney General’s documents of intent to get the injunction.

TUM president Mr William Malimba therefore asked for an adjournment to allow the union get the services of a lawyer.

Teachers their nation-wide strike Tuesday after the government did not honour a promise to pay bonuses for their risk of contracting the coronavirus while on the job.

“We felt cheated on this one because we agreed and at that time it was a high-level meeting.  We did that one at parliament,” said Malimba. “We had Presidential Task Force [on COVID-19], we had committee of education, when we were making that agreement.”

Malimba said teachers take risks when working in packed classrooms during the pandemic and will not resume work until the government gives them the promised bonus.

But Malawi’s government says teachers were not among those budgeted to receive a COVID-19 risk allowance.

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