Members of the newly formed Independent Association of Teachers of Afternoon Programmes on Tuesday called on the finance ministry to count them as ministry employees.

The association’s secretary Charalambos Zacharoplastis said its 160 members cannot be a part of any other group or union, and are demanding a change of status for its members, from self-employed to employees.

Zacharoplastis said the matter has also been taken to court and the judge ruled in favour of the association.

Members “should be allowed to work normally until both the finance and the education ministries come to a final decision regarding their working status,” he said.

Zacharoplastis said the association is also awaiting a final decision on the funding for afternoon teaching programmes.

Association president Elena Mitella said until now, “we had no reply or clarification from the finance ministry, while the education ministry is stalling its next move as it claims that, while the teachers’ updated contracts are ready, it is awaiting a final decision from the finance minister”.

The teachers have not yet seen their new contracts and several afternoon educational programmes are already on the verge of being scrapped, she added.

Mitella said that the association’s members are struggling to sustain themselves and their families, as they are paid by the hour.