Workers at the Northern Technical College in Ndola have bemoaned Government’s reluctance in addressing issues affecting the institution.
The workers who staged a sit-in protest in November raising various issues through a petition prompting Minister of Technology and Science Felix Mutati to visit the institution and assuring the workers of Government’s intervention.
Among the issues raised was none payment of gratuities which have accumulated to over K25 million from 2019, NAPSA debt dating as far back as 2019 which has accumulated to K2o million, removing of employees from the payroll without paying their gratuities and leadership crisis at the directorate level.
However, the workers who spoke on condition of anonymity said despite assurances of the Government’s quick intervention nothing has been done and only a paltry amount of K1.9 million had been released to cushion the over K45 m owed to the employees in form of gratuity and NAPSA.
The workers said the amount was only enough to pay a handful of employees with more being owed from as far back as 2019.
The workers further complained that despite the government owing to the institution for the more than 1,300 students currently on a bursary. more than 480 students have been offered 100 percent bursaries this year a situation they complained would further cripple the institution’s financial standing.
The workers who spoke on condition of anonymity stated that despite engagement with the Minister of Technology and Science directors and subsequently Mr Mutati their cries seem to have fallen on deaf ears as the promises made by the minister have not been fulfilled.
They said despite management assuring them of putting in place modalities to start dismantling the more than K20 million debt owed to NAPSA, some of their colleagues that have retired have continued to languish in poverty as they have not been paid their gratuities despite being removed from the payroll.
They said this has left them with no source of income as they cannot access their money from NAPSA due to none remittance by management.
They have called on government to quickly come to their aid by paying off gratuities and money owed to NAPSA as if left unsolved the situation may escalate further.
Among the other issues raised was directorate’s refusal to increase education allowance for middle management, which has for the past 6 years remained at K1,500.
They added that K1,500 education allowance was not adequate to cater for their childrens school needs.
They have further asked government to quickly intervene in the leadership crisis at directorate level.
The workers called for the Ministry to advertise the position of Principal as soon as possible as the contract for the current Principle Martin Kasonso expired on January 31st 2022.
They believe this has caused a leadership void at the institution.