Teachers threaten legal action against govt

THE Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) has threatened to take legal action over government’s recent move to recall all teachers on leave and frog-march them to their respective schools for a countrywide staff audit.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE/ NQOBILE BHEBHE

Zimta chief executive officer, Sifiso Ndlovu told NewsDay yesterday that the cancellation of their members’ vacation was a serious violation of their labour rights.

“Vacation leave is a right and this idea that teachers are recalled without explanation and the leave days are cancelled without due process is untenable. Our lawyers are taking this issue to the courts because it is a violation of the labour law,” he said.

sifiso ndlovu

Early this week, the Primary and Secondary Education ministry released a circular ordering all teachers on leave to report to their various workstations in preparation for a second staff head-count by officials from the Civil Service Commission.

The circular, dated January 14, 2016, read in part: “Urgent. Vacation leave has been cancelled. All heads are being directed to recall all teachers who had applied for vacation leave for term one 2016. Schools will be visited by the Public Service Commission inspectorate soon to ensure that all such members have assumed duty. Therefore, all members who had gone on vacation are strongly advised to comply with the directive without fail.”

Ndlovu described the directive as discriminatory, as it only affected teachers, leaving out other civil servants who were also on leave.

“We are really shocked by our ministry’s move to unilaterally cancel leave days for our members. We only got the letter on January 14 and signed by a permanent secretary, who seemed to have been excited with power. It states that the move is effective from January 1. We were never consulted on that,” he said.

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president, Takavafira Zhou said his organisation was still consulting its membership for an appropriate course of action.

“We had agreed to go on a go-slow, but this directive seems to be targeting our membership. We want to warn this regime that if it wants to violate our rights as workers through intimidation and unilateral decisions, we will take then head-on,” he said.

8 Responses to Teachers threaten legal action against govt

  1. chidhumo January 21, 2016 at 7:53 am #

    Its like that but nobody is taking care of the children in class. We are busy pushing the teachers around doing what they want because the teachers have no weapons. But the pen is always mightier than the sword.

  2. TONGESAI January 21, 2016 at 9:04 am #

    Please, the responsible Minister and official in the ministry of Education gone are the colonial days when blacks were treated like slaves or objects. What lessons are you sending to foreigners in the private sector in as far as worker’s rights are concerned. Your actions are not only illegal but morally corrupt, insensitive and discriminatory. For your own information, even the “excited” permanent secretary also went through good hands of a teacher. A teacher is a human being too, just like any other civil servant. Of late you have adopted colonial tendencies in making unilateral decisions mostly against teachers. Down with the colonial mentality in you unhonorable ministry. Go and live in the 1960s or 70s as you cant fit in today’s generation. What kind of heartless people who cant even observe their own worker’s rights?

  3. upenyu January 21, 2016 at 10:22 am #

    Idiots. What happened to the statistics gathered in the other two counts? Wasting state resources and time. Instead of the audit, find ways of raising cash for bonuses. Nxaaaaa.

  4. bonderai January 21, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    this government has failed it is now taking its failures to the people how can a government for the people go against its own people if the is no money in government y cant they call a spade a spade and say we have failed to run this country honestly y would people be denied vacational leave and what to call that govenment progressive. if unions allow this then they will have lost it.

  5. 1980 January 21, 2016 at 11:01 am #

    Smisi waiva nani

  6. zvakaoma January 21, 2016 at 11:07 am #

    Biti was always complaining that there are ghost workers in the civil service muchiramba. Not only did the first audit discover ghost workers but also ghost schools but makaramba because the money is being received by green bombers who were responsible for runoff atrocities.

  7. Todii January 21, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    THE ROAD TO DEMOCRACY HAS BEEN DEFERRED INDEFINITELY! ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY.

  8. Kumbirai January 21, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

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