The Government through the Ministry of Education owes scores of teacher’s double class and responsibility allowances countrywide in some cases stretching from as far back as January 2023.
The delay to pay teachers double class and responsibility allowances has been blamed on the change of the system used to verify teachers entitled to the pay.
The Government last year introduced a system to thoroughly verify who is supposed to be given double class and responsibility allowance when they are introduced to the Ministry of Education payroll.
Over 4000 teachers are affected in the Copperbelt Province alone with teacher unions expressing their worry.
The Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZANUT) has since urged the Ministry of Education in the Copperbelt Province to urgently pay teachers the outstanding double class and responsibility allowances.
ZANUT Copperbelt Provincial Director Bunda Katutu said it was unacceptable that teachers in the province have not received double class and responsibility allowances since January 2023.
Mr. Katutu said teachers have given the Ministry of Education up to the month-end of May 2023 to pay them their money.
“The double class and responsibility allowance is supposed to be paid to teachers from January but this is May. The allowance runs from January to December, once it reaches December it expires. Again the year that follows will be asked to submit their requirements and they are going to be given allowances but the challenge we have is that starting from last year. It took almost six months, by June/July that’s when teachers were given allowances when they are entitled to that allowance monthly. As we speak, they started last month but very few were given because of the said challenges with the new system but we want to push the people responsible to pay teachers now,” he said.
“On the Copperbelt, this month we will not listen to any excuse from any district for not giving double class and responsibility allowances to the deserving teachers. Teachers have been teaching from January to this time around without receiving allowances, meanwhile the Government had budgeted for this money. Money is there so it is a matter of responsible officers to make sure that they give the affected teachers double class and responsibility allowances” Mr. Katutu said.
He has told Radio Icengelo News in Ndola that the Ministry of Education was de-motivating teachers by not paying them their money on time.
“It is de-motivating, you cannot be teaching while waiting to be paid. The Provincial Education Officer assured us that now those hurdles have been waived so that teachers can be given allowances. The fact is that we have teachers on the Copperbelt who are entitled to responsibility and double class allowances. Those who are teaching the higher grades they are not supposed to teach. When you are given extra work you deserve an allowance. Some teachers have been given more than one class because of inadequate human resource, teachers are not enough. These teachers have been teaching since January without being paid,” Mr. Katutu said.
Responsibility Allowance is paid at the rate of 20% of the basic pay to all eligible teachers and shall be done or paid for on an annual basis meaning it’s a 12 months cycle.
Eligible teachers should re-apply for this allowance each November to facilitate input on the payroll for January of the following year and allow eligibility facilitation to be undertaken.
Those eligible for the payment of responsibility allowance include degree holders teaching “A” level classes, advanced diploma holders teaching either senior or “A” level classes at a secondary school, Diploma holders teaching senior classes and certificate holders teaching Upper basic/secondary school classes.