“It is completely unacceptable for the Ministry to treat workers with such scant courtesy and disdain. In these recessionary times when jobs are very hard to find, I fear that I shall be on the breadline at least for a little while. And I am at my wit’s end trying to figure out how am I going to feed my family or pay my bills without a job.”
The following Letter to the Editor, which highlights an alleged injustice on the part of the Ministry of Education, was submitted to Wired868 by an ICT technician willing to be identified only as ‘Hurt and Hungry’:
I need to share with someone—and why not you and your readers, Mr Editor?—yet another case of uncaring treatment by a ministry and, by extension, a government that would like us to believe that they genuinely care about us ordinary people… even after the elections are over.
In 2012, I was hired as an ICT technician by the Ministry of Education. I was assigned to one secondary school as well as three primary schools, which I was expected to visit monthly or as the need arose. My initial contract ended in 2015. Since then, I have been working on a month-to-month basis until recently when I was told by colleagues that our month-to-month contracts were soon to be terminated.
When our contacts first ended, we were told that the Ministry of Education was changing the organisational structure of the ICT Department and we would eventually be given long-term contracts. But, like Biggie Smalls sang, it was all a dream; in fact, we were given short-term contracts ranging from three to six months, with no sick leave, vacation or benefits.
Virtually every month, our salaries would be late and some months we would get no salary at all. Calls to the MoE for information were normally greeted with disrespect from clerks who don’t care that my mortgage is late every month and all my creditors are calling me non-stop.
And to add insult to injury, we are still owed gratuity for the initial contracts, which ended over two years ago in 2015.
In April of this year, we were given month-to-month contracts again; this time, however, no end date was given, either in writing or orally. I happened to call the Ministry and that was how I discovered—via word of mouth!—that I would be unemployed the following week.
It is completely unacceptable for the Ministry to treat workers with such scant courtesy and disdain. In these recessionary times when jobs are very hard to find, I fear that I shall be on the breadline at least for a little while. And I am at my wit’s end trying to figure out how am I going to feed my family or pay my bills without a job.
But it did not have to be this way. If the Ministry had done the right thing and given us fair warning, we could at least have put something in place for this eventuality.
So as things stand, Mr Editor, I am left with very few options, some of which were nowhere in my sights before the Ministry decided in its wisdom to take action and let the chips fall where they may.