Lecturers up in arms over allowances


Forty-nine lecturers at Mkoba Teachers’ College have taken the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education as well as their college principal to the Labour Court over unpaid salaries and retention allowances.

The lecturers claimed the ministry and the college principal, Florence Dube, owed them a staff retention allowance of $1 082 each, which prompted them to embark on a six-day sit-in.

Allegations are that Dube short-changed college staff by paying them retention allowances lower than those stipulated in a government circular released in 2009.

The lecturers downed tools in July in protest, leading to the cessation of their July salaries.
Part of their court application reads:

“The grounds are that the action was arbitrary and it was not in conferment with audi alteram partem rule which provides that the other party should be heard before any action or conduct that affects their rights should be taken.”

The lecturers are being represented by Gweru lawyer, Walter Chikanda.

On July 22, the Labour Court ordered the Public Service Commission and the director of Salary Services Bureau not to cease the salaries.

“We have done all the court paper work and we are now waiting for the judgment since it was an urgent application,” said Chikanda.

On December 1 2009, the ministry introduced a 30% staff retention allowance in a bid to retain both lecturing and non-lecturing staff following a massive staff exodus the previous year.

The circular states that lecturers and staff in Grade C would get $100 while support staff in Grade A and B would get $75 per month.