The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) has urged its members to ignore a civil servants’ strike organised by the Apex Council after the umbrella body for unions representing government workers failed to hold its strategic meeting scheduled for Harare yesterday.
Zimta chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said the meeting was called off after Apex Counil members failed to make a quorum.
The meeting was expected to elect a new executive committee and map out a new strategy on how to force government to increase civil servants’ salaries.
“The meeting today was a failure, so as Zimta we stick to our position that teachers should not strike right now or when schools open next term,” Ndlovu said.
“Even if they had to strike now, it would not make sense because the holiday begins on Thursday and surely we cannot declare a strike for next term yet.”
Ndlovu said strike action would be considered as a last resort after exhausting other channels with different government departments.
“We only declare a strike after having thorough consultations and we are still yet to meet as Zimta in our own standing central meeting,” he added. “We have to try getting the money that we want and put an end to this salary issue as much as we can without embarking on a full-scale strike.
A strike is only done as a last resort.”
He also castigated Finance minister Tendai Biti for criticising the recent demonstration by civil servants where they demanded a salary review.
“We do not want a political explanation from the minister on why we cannot get our money,” Ndlovu said.
“He should at least give civil servants a technical one that tells us where the money is going.”
Apex Council president Tendai Chikowore could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Last Tuesday, the demonstration organised by the Apex Council flopped after only about 100 out of an estimated 200 000 civil servants turned up in Harare. Civil servants are pushing for a salary increase in line with the Poverty Datum Line pegged at $567.
Currently the lowest paid worker is getting $286 per month.