FPAM staff strike over salary increment, unfair treatment

  • Accuses Boss of ‘sleeping’ with junior staff

Disgruntled workers at the Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) headquarters in the capital, Lilongwe have downed their tools in stark protest over what they claim to be an overdue pay rise and unfair treatment.

The displeased striking FPAM employees are also said to be enraged with their Executive Director, Mathias Chatuluka who they are accusing of being greedy, self-centredness, unkind and inconsiderate to the staff.

The irate staff who have vowed never to returned to work until their ‘issues’ are resolved also accuse their boss of favouritism and sleeping with his junior staff members one them being a nurse, Thokozani Njoloma who is young enough to be his daughter.

 Visit

Nyasa Times visited the FPAM central offices in Area 14 in Lilongwe  and found the premises closed with the seemingly peeved workers sitting and scattered outside the property’s grounds.

Chatuluka under staff fire

Chatuluka under staff fire

Closed for business

Closed for business

Ignoring staff Grievances - Kachale

Ignoring staff Grievances – Kachale

The clients visiting their facilities in Lilongwe, Dedza, Ntcheu, Kasungu and Dowa are bluntly told that services have been suspended until further notice.

“We are on a strike. No service is available!” shouted an employee when the Nyasa Times crew arrived at the Lilongwe central office premises.

In an interview one discontented sitting-in employee who opted for anonymity told Nyasa Times that among other concerns, the staff at the organisation are demanding a salary review and 100 % increments saying that their concerns are now long overdue claiming that the issues have been unattended since January 2012.

“We are demanding this increment because our wages have never been reviewed for a long time despite the various devaluations that this country has been experiencing since 2011. We are angry because our boss Mr. Mathias Chatuluka, the Executive Director has shown to be a very greedy and less considerate man. He thinks about nobody but himself,” informed one employee.

“Imagine he only reviewed his own salary by almost 100% but completely did nothing about the salaries of the rest of staff at the organisation. Is that fair?” asked another livid sitting-in member of staff.

The employee also said workers at the organisation are also tired of Chatuluka’s oppressive and tyrannical style of leadership style and nepotism.

Charged the employee: “We are tired with Chatuluka’s bad attitude towards staff; He thinks he is more human and more important than the rest of us. He treats the employees as slaves.  We are tired of him having intimate relationships with junior staff some of who are young enough to be his own daughters. He abuses his authority and does not adhere to the organisation’s set policies and standards.”

 Nyasa Times random vox-pop interviews with the staff from other organisations’ establishments in the four districts offices who are also striking also indicate that the workers are unhappy with the way the Executive director, Mr Mathias Chatuluka, ill-treats most of his staff with most complaining that Chatuluka is a dictator who has no regard for others.

 

Our reporters also learnt from the disgruntled employees that Chatuluka also undermines the organisation’s structure and positions of fellow directors.

Nyasa Times understands that the both the director of Finance and administration and director of Programmes have since resigned from their positions because of the Executive Director’s maltreatment.

Our  investigations reveals that this year alone FPAM has witnessed 10 of its senior staff members resigning from their various posts for the same reasons.

Ignored 

Nyasa Times also understands that staff from organisation’s district branch offices has gathered at the organisation’s central office in Lilongwe waiting to be addressed by the Board of Trustees.

All clinics that the organisation is operating and the organisations central office in Lilongwe have been closed by the disgruntled staff and have vowed not to open them until their issues have been sorted.

The strike was first staged from the 27th to 29th August this year and their issues were presented to the organisation’s Board of Trustees.

According to the employees, the board promised to assist them and they provided some recommendations that were meant to solve some of the issues the staff raised.

“Since September, nothing has been done by the Executive Director (Chatuluka) as far as implementing the Board’s recommendations are concerned hence the Staff’s anger at the moment.  We are tired and we will not go back to work until our concerns are resolved,” said the worker.

One employee who travelled from Dedza office said the board of trustees is playing hide and seek over the matter saying they are doing nothing to address the situation.

“The Board Chairperson, Mrs Fannie Kachale who is also Director at Reproductive Health Department (RHD) in the Ministry of Health has been ignoring the staff that gathered at the Secretariat Office in Area 14. This is very sad. Our demands are not unreasonable. We want fairness and equal treatment. We don’t others to get favours because they sleep with the boss. If the executive director managed to increase his salary by a 100 percent, why can’t he do the same with all of us? wondered the employee who also did not want to be identified.

Both FPAM Executive Director Chatuluka and the organisation’s board chair Fannie Kachale were not readily available for their comments as could not pick their mobile phones when contacted.

Chatuluka’s phone was switched off while Kachale’s phone went unanswered

When Nyasa Times contacted Thokozani Njoloma, the young lady accused of having an indecent steamy sexual relationship with Chatuluka, she cut the phone when the subject was introduced . A message was sent to her Facebook  and email and she did not reply.

Disgruntled staff on strike.

Disgruntled staff on strike.

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