Mbabane: A mass exodus of teachers at Mbalenhle Christian Academy has been witnessed after the school’s director Thabile Gumbi sent home over 15 teachers on unpaid lay-off.
The lay-off is set to elapse in and around January 31, 2021.
Independent News has reliably established that most of the teachers and non-academic staff who were affected are those who refused to take a 50 percent salary cut. They are also said to have been ring leaders for a near chaotic situation which called for the intervention of the police. This is after the teachers allegedly refused to leave the premises.
An exclusive investigation by this publication revealed that learners are left with only a few teachers who are allegedly the director’s grovelers and they agreed on the pay cut with an extra load of lessons. An inside source revealed that some learners want the teachers back or they will stay at home and only return to the school next year.
On October 27, Independent News reported that the aforementioned director slashed off the teachers’ salaries by the 50 percent for the month of October.
One of the affected teachers who elected to comment on anonymous state said some teachers were summoned to the director’s office where they were given an option of either preferring the voluntary exits or lay-offs.
He added saying surprisingly, the affected teachers were not given any option but served with the lay-off letters.
The aggrieved teacher revealed that another thorn in their flesh was that they had tried to question the director concerning their salaries for May and June following the cuts, saying it was unlawful. He said the director could not furnish them with satisfactory response.
The teacher went on to reveal that on October 2, which was a Monday, the teachers went to the labour commissioner’s office, Mthunzi Shabangu, in Mbabane where they tabled their grievances.
This publication has further learnt that the director has implemented the lay-offs, despite not getting an approval of the labour commissioner, much against the dictates of the set guidelines.
Speaking to this publication the labour commissioner said they are working on the matter. He said according to the Guidelines Notice NO. 22 of 2020 under Section 5 (a) the normal time lines for giving notice of layoffs to employees are suspended in respect of layoffs that are recurrent to the period of national emergency (see section 5). Therefore, approvals are granted in retrospect once the commission have satisfied that the information contained in the application is sufficient.
This investigation further unearthed that the director has not yet sent the application letter to the labour commissioner but has already implemented the lay-offs.
Discussion about this post