BASIC Education Teachers Union of Zambia (BETUZ) general secretary Henry Sinkala says conditions of service for teachers have tremendously improved under the PF administration, a situation that enables them to afford to buy three cars at any given time.
And Sinkala says under PF, some teachers earn about K20,000 per month.
Commenting on PF national chairperson Samuel Mukupa’s remarks that the PF had positively grown the economy and that teachers were able to afford to purchase up to three cars, Sinkala concurred, explaining that teachers were driving more vehicles under the PF administration than they could in previous administrations.
“For us, who have been teachers for some time, it was a taboo; if you were born in the 80s or 70s, you would agree with me that teachers were not associated with vehicles. The only thing a teacher could own then was a bicycle. I think after the 2011 salary increment, that increment was more than 100 per cent. So, it is no lie that teachers are driving vehicles under this administration more than any other administration. So, if it is in line of owning vehicles, then he was right. Just to be honest, the conditions of service for public service workers in 2011 improved. The chairman has a point,” Sinkala said in an interview.
He highlighted that under the PF administration the lowest paid teacher was getting K4,600, which was never the case in previous governments.
“I have said in 2011, the salary almost doubled; in 2016, there was what we called ‘automatic migration’ also, so again salaries were improved so much. I started work in 2001 we were getting K250, and in K250, we cannot buy anything. Now, the lowest paid teacher gets K4,600 that is what they are getting. The highest serving teacher gets more than about K17,000. So, the lowest at K4,600 and the highest at K20,000 or so. We never had people getting such kinds of money, especially when the dollar was okay,” said Sinkala.
“Salaries in 2011, 2012 were very competitive in the region, not just in Zambia, but at regional-level, we were only beaten by South Africa. Third to us was Botswana. The depreciation of the kwacha, it has eroded some power that our salaries had. Those are the stubborn facts or truth that we can never run away with. But you know, in Zambia people like politicking, even where there is a road they would want to look for a pothole. I am just trying to be very objective that it is true, the conditions of service to do with salary as well as many others such as the medical insurance scheme is another good policy signed during the PF regime.”