Lecturers at Malawi Institute of Tourism (MIT) in Blantyre have gone on strike demanding a 120 percent pay rise following the increase in cost of living.
However, management has instead counter-offered with across-the-board 30 percent hike, which the training officers have rebuffed as too little.
The lecturers started their indefinite strike on Thursday last week, forcing students to go on unplanned and imposed holiday although some are about to sit in for their examinations.
A Nyasa Times visit on Tuesday afternoon, found some of the lecturers locked in a meeting, and the institute’s Director, a Mr. Matola, through his secretary, dismissed the strike, arguing it was all normal at the school.
Surprisingly, some students and lecturers revealed to Nyasa Times that there were no classes since last week as the training officers are trying to force the administration to consider its offer.
“The issue of pay rise was presented to management last year, and all this time, they never said anything until last week when they were forced into emergency meetings on Thursday and Friday after where it was agreed to offer everyone including ground workers 30 percent increase,” explained one of the lecturers.
The lecturers also revealed that they have been threatened to call off the sit-in as management argues that it tantamount to misconduct.
“They are claiming the strike is illegal and tantamount to misconduct and that we will all be fired; but we can’t be moved with such threats. Nothing is being said about our demands; we will continue with the strike until our calls are considered”.
Last year, according to the concerned lecturers, management following another strike, offered them 27.5 percent, ground workers 30 percent and administrative staff 22.5 percent.
However, the teaching staffs argue that they have had no increment since devaluation of the country’s currency, which led to a rise in the cost of living with inflation currently at 30 percent.
And in separate interviews, some students bemoaned the strike as it will affect their education calendar.
“There is no indication that we will be back in class soon. We paid our fees to learn not be forced into unprepared holiday. It’s our plea that management and lecturers will resolve the salary issue immediately,” complained one of the students.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :