The Tanzania Teachers’ Union has said over 500 genuine teachers have become beggars after the government scrapped their salaries thinking they were ghost workers.
The TTU president, Gratian Mukoba told reporters yesterday in Dar es Salaam that the teachers failed to get their last month’s salaries following government’s blunder when reconfirming the names of public servants.
“During the exercise the government scrapped names of more than 500 teachers it thought were ghost workers and instead continued to pay salaries to genuine ghost workers, who it believed were currently teaching,” he clarified.
"We are always receiving names of teachers who died a long time ago but were still receiving salaries. But those who are alive and on duty have had their salaries cut off completely and we are told that they are ghost workers and are therefore not supposed to be paid,” stressed Mukoba.
He said dead teachers were receiving salaries through their district councils, but the union is not aware who sends the money on their behalf.
“After we established this blunder, we communicated with the office of the President, Public Service Management who told us that the teachers who have not been paid last month’s salary will be considered this month,” he told reporters.
"We are surprised. This teacher is on duty and it is not him who committed the offence, why don’t they pay them on the spot instead of letting them continue to starve?. How are they going to survive?” asked Mukoba.
When contacted, Philip Mulugo who is the Deputy minister for Education and Vocational Training replied that he was in a meeting. Efforts to reach Kassim Majaliwa who is the deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of education failed.
Meanwhile the TTU has threatened to stage a national strike within 30 days over government failure to formulate Teachers’ Services Joint Staff Council, for disputes settlement.
They also intend to put pressure on the government to pay the outstanding debt of 13bn/- before July this year, increase their salary by 100 percent and setting up allowances for teachers working in remote areas.
Mukoba said he believes the government has enough resources to pay teachers.
According to them, allowances for arts and science teachers should be between 50 and 55 percent while those living in remote locations should be given 30 percent.
Mukoba said already TTU has registered its planned strike with the Commission for Reconciliation and Judgment and is now waiting for summons to meet with arbitrator on the matter.
He said according to the Employment Act of 2004, disputes have to be solved within 30 days after registration.
He added the law also prohibits the employer from employing other staffs or firing striking employees where their strike has followed all the procedures.