Pay us allowance or we will not return to class in January – CES teachers

By Yiep Joseph

Central Equatoria State teachers have threatened not to return to classrooms when schools reopen early next year if the state authorities fail to pay “nature of work allowance” included in the new salary structure.

The threat to lay down tools came as a seven-day ultimatum given by teachers to the state ministry of education to reinsert a ‘Nature of Work Allowance’ Column missing in the teachers’ payroll – comes to an end today.

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, Justin Walak Thomas the Secretary General of Central Equatoria State (CES) Teachers’ Union, said teachers would not turn up for teaching on January 3, 2022 if the state authorities did not meet their demands.

“We told the minister of education and we gave them duration from 17th of December to 23rd and if he fails to insert the nature of allowances column to be part of the salary then we shall go for Christmas without salaries and laydown our tools not to return back to teaching until our demand is met,” Walak said, stressing that the teachers would not receive their salary without the so called nature of work allowance.

However, Cirsio Zecharia the state Minister of Education called on the teachers to receive their salaries first and discuss the nature of work allowance issue later.

“I, Governor and the Minister of Finance yesterday met with the teachers and we talked to them about the financial difficulties we are facing and urged them to get their salaries first and later discuss the issue of nature of work allowances after Christmas,” Cirsio said.   

But the union secretary general claimed that the state authorities suspiciously cancelled the new salary structure approved by the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development in accordance with the 100 percent increment of salary of all civil servants announced by President Salva Kiir Mayardit in July.

“The state Ministry of Education and the Governor called us yesterday and told us that they have little resources and could not pay us based on the approved budget of the new salary structure,” he added.

 “The state authorities claimed that the new salary structure was cancelled by the national ministry of finance but when we requested for a written documentand they failed to give it us any,” Walak said.

“We were not satisfied with what state authorities told us, and tomorrow 23rd ,  if the issue is not solve, all the teachers will not return to their work after Christmas,” he affirmed.

The teachers said they are demanding salary arrears for the months running from August to November.

“Nature of allowance is major important and it must be in the new salary structure, any payment without nature of work allowances is not salary,” he said.

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