Dodoma — THE government has directed all teachers in the country to stop supporting the ongoing campaign on teachers' strike.The Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) responsible for Education, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, said here on Saturday that it was not proper for teachers to go on strikes as the Teachers' Union (CWT) was already in discussion with the government for lasting solution to their demands.
"Teachers' Union (CWT) and the government were on the talks to address the shortcomings," he said.Teachers are demanding a 100 per cent salary increment and special motivational allowances to those working in remote and difficult environments.Mr Majaliwa said that there was a group of people believed to be instigating teachers to strike by circulating messages.
"There is a group of people which use media to instigate teachers to strike. The group uses propaganda approaches to win teachers' support," he said, urging teachers to stop the planned strike while authorities were still in talks."There have been text messages circulated by people believed to be teachers saying that there was salary disparity between Grade A teachers and employees in other cadres with the same qualification.
According to text messages, a Grade A teacher is paid 244,400/- while a worker of the same grade in health sector is getting 472,000/-, Agriculture (959,400/-) and Law (630,000/).The messages also charge that a teacher with Diploma was paid 325,700/-, while a worker with same qualification in health sector gets 682,000/-, agriculture (1,113,600/-) and Law (871,500/-).
And in Bachelor Degree, a teacher is getting 469,200/-, while health sector worker is paid 802,200/-. In agriculture sector the pay is 1,354,000/- and in Legal sector the pay is 1,166,000/-.Earlier, the Deputy Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Mr Philipo Mulugo, described the claims that teachers were lowly paid compared to other workers as total lies, noting that the message was meant to bring discontent.
The minister clarified how payments were made, saying while a Grade A teacher had a basic salary of 244,400/- , officers in health sector with the same qualification were paid 262,500/- while those holding certificates in agriculture fetched 261,000/-.The Minister of State in the President's Office (Public Services Management), Ms Celina Kombani, in her speech in this year's Public Service Day, said the government was working to improve salaries and other incentives in the civil services and other public institutions.
She played down claims that teachers were for long time being overlooked compared to other cadres.She said all cadres were equally important, only that the working environment and number of years spent in studies differed, thus, all deserved fair treatment based on work conditions.
She said that Public Service Management had come up with Salaries and Incentives Board that would oversee the welfare of the civil servants. The Board established starts its operation during the 2012/2013 financial year.Despite Ms Kombani's declaration that the state was going to improve salaries, the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) threatened to opt for strikes if workers' demands continue to resurface.
TUCTA stand released by its Secretary General Mr Nicholous Mgaya, came as the 2012/2013 national budget estimates were tabled before the National Assembly here. Mr Mgaya claimed that the budget overlooked workers' demands that are overdue.Teachers had demanded that until July 8, this year, if teachers' demands were not met they would lay down tools and call for a countrywide strike.