Meeting won’t stop strike: Teachers

GOVERNMENT will today face off with its restive workers in a last-minute ditch to stifle a proposed nationwide civil servants’ strike, but teachers unions yesterday vowed to go ahead with the industrial action as scheduled.

BY EVERSON MUSHAVA

The meeting takes place at a time striking doctors are also meeting to decide their next course of action after government failed to break their month-long industrial action.

This was after government made a few more concessions at the weekend, but representatives of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association refused to counter-sign the agreement before consulting their membership.

Teachers have threatened a crippling strike when schools open for the first term tomorrow, demanding to be paid in United States dollars or at least $3 000 local currency, among other demands.

Shaken by the prospect of a looming crippling strike, acting Labour and Social Welfare minister July Moyo on Friday invited all public servants’ unions and four fellow Cabinet ministers to today’s crunch meeting with union leaders.

Besides the Ministry of Labour, ministries of Finance, Primary and Secondary Education, Higher and Tertiary Education and the chairperson of the Public Service Commission will also attend the meeting.

Most teachers’ unions, however, yesterday said they would go ahead with the industrial action with the unions’ umbrella body, the Apex Council, saying the meeting would determine their next course of action.

Apex Council secretary-general David Dzatsunga said the civil servants’ umbrella body would consult its members on the next move after the meeting, adding that they would not stop individual unions from making independent decisions.

“We have agreed that every other action will be premised on today’s meeting with the five principals [ministers] from our employer,” Dzatsunga said.

“The decision to go for a strike comes from the members. Some unions can unilaterally declare a job action if that is what their membership has proposed. That will not necessarily be the position of the Apex Council. The apex body will sit down and make an apex position.”

He said the Apex Council has already advised government that their members may not be able to report for work because they were incapacitated due to the increased cost of living that has eroded their earnings.

The meeting would be first this year after the National Joint Negotiating Council met on December 7 last year, where Apex Council leaders walked out in protest after failing to get satisfactory answers from their employer.

Obert Masaraure, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union Association of Zimbabwe president said his union would send a representative to the meeting, but that would not stop preparations for tomorrow’s proposed strike.

“The strike will go ahead. Teachers will not attend the preparatory meetings today and will not report to work on Tuesday. The only thing that can stop us from going on strike is a reflection of US$ salaries in our accounts,” Masaraure said.

He accused government of exhibiting a contemptuous attitude when dealing with civil servants.

Zimbabwe Progressive Teachers’ Union president Takavafira Zhou also said the meeting would not stop the job action, but an increment of their salaries would do.

“Our salaries are enough to take us to work for two days. We are deliberating the two days we should report to work and the three we should stay at home. We are very clear about that. The purchasing power parity of our salaries can no longer allow us to do so. We cannot subsidise our employer,” Zhou said.

The largest teachers’ union, the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta), at the weekend announced that its members would start their strike action tomorrow, regardless of the outcome of today’s meeting.

Zimta president Richard Gundani said: “Talking won’t capacitate teachers. They need money. The strike is going ahead”

39 Comments

  1. Some people deserve to be beaten to pulp plis musatifungidze mweya wakare isu tawe mu new dispensation,we say no to politically sponsored strikes,ngatiwake nyika

    1. Politics dzabva kupi apa VaBlackman? Isn’t it true that the cost of a trip by kombi has risen from 50 cents last year to $2 bond this year? It simple means that where $2 was enough for four trips, it is now enough for just one trip. Therefore, proportionately, where the civil servants could afford to go to work 4 days/week, they can now only manage to go 1 day/week.

  2. I see a political hand here were these organisations are being pressured to join the doctors so that there will be proper parallysis in the whole civil servants but if the law is not being followed everyone just need to be FIRED as we have hoardes of equally quallified people in those fields but with no work and sitted at home, its high time a riot act is read as some of the demands by these organisations are outrageous even their members are shocked how they are coming up with some of the numbers.

    1. why do we have qualified workers with no work? Don’t you something wrong with this Mr eliasha? Lets face the facts: goods and services have quadrupled in price in bond note terms, but the salaries of civil servants have remained stagnant. It simply can’t work. ED zvaramba chete, chinozikamwa hapana.

      1. Zvinhu hazvisati zvaramba remember Rome was not built in a day, the reversals of the damage done by the previous regime are going to be painful to the geberal populace and if you following current developments nursing posts have been unfrozen so are teaching posts and so forth it means financial reserves are now building up unlike in the past and very soon in April 2019 the Finance Minister said he will work on the new salary structures for all civil servants, what more can you ask for in a record 6 months.

        1. lol……mzaya this is on the plain, this current government is badly haunted by legitimacy…..where are the investors that they purpoted to be coming in, where is the open for business mantra now, instead all we see are price hikes and staff, once beaten twice shy, you cant tell me kuti you still believe in anything the fckrs promise…mukai va elisha

    2. why do we have hoardes of qualified people just seated at home nhai bambi?? thats the first clue that this regime is useless makadhakwa brain mazanu and always come up with bullshit solutions to every problem hanzi fire everyone. your crazy stupid man hahahaha

  3. Well, though daggers have been drawn, the teachers should stop speaking preemptively.
    The government on the other hand should not squander the opportunity flexing its political muscle.
    It has to show its commitment by offering a certain ‘affordable’ percentage increment of the teachers’ salary demand in a ‘willing buyer- willing seller’ engagement depending on the current economic status. The usual rhetoric will only make things mutate into a deeper crisis.

  4. Ngaadzingwe masaskamu!!!

    1. Munozodzigona differentiation ne integration here vana Dumela? Musaita sa vaChiwengwa vanofunga kuti kugonana kuridza pfuti is the wholesome qualification required for all professions.

  5. Saka if they hv reached a position already why attend the meeting, ngavatiitire mushe

  6. That is why ma dialogue acho ose ariku failure coz vanhu havadi kusangana pakati. Kana munhu achitengesa shirt lets say ye$10 anoiita $14 because anoziva kuti customer icha negotiator yosvika pa$10. MaTeacher anoziva kuti Gvt ichti huyai tiite negotiate, saka mari yataugwa nema teacher iyo ngavataurirane vosangana pakati neGvt. Cause for sure yakawandisa, looking at another angle, yavarikutimbira currently haichaitewo zvekare. Garai pasi mosangana pakati zvinakire maparties ose. Simple.

    1. kikkkkk iwe tekimo usaita sebhambi….the government is not willing to negotiate cause haina solution to this…the grievancies that the civil servants are putting up date back as far as 2014…government yairipi by then….we are now in a desperate situation coz ma doctors cannot be replaced by anyone ndopavakutaura zvema negotiations…..dai ma graduate trainee ema doctors akabvuma kujutwa hanty dai ma junior doctors akango suspendwa without pay nekuti va striker…would you in your logical mind call that a negotiation…vakuti negotiate coz vaona kuti kufire neku suspenda ma doc hakuite…ngwara bhambi

  7. Maphozho Saruchera

    Those interested in politics should just join exciting political parties or form their own, there is not need for politics in our education. How can a sane person declare that even after the meeting they will strike before knowing the outcome of same? Why worst govt’s time attending the meeting if your handlers want you to strike? While we are at that – teachers should know that there are plenty of overqualified people willing to take up their post – handei tione.

  8. Wezhira Wezhara

    Some union leaders behave as politicians for sure. Where in Zimbabwe can a Teacher’s salary be enough to take him or her to work for just two days in a week? Take for example a teacher who works in Harare but stays in Chitungwiza. He or she will folk out $4 to and from work everyday. Teachers work from Monday to Friday meaning to say they work +/- 20 dyas per month. This will give us +/-$80 bond notes for transport. They get over $100 in transport allowance. Yes I agree prices of commodities have increased but please use realistic exapmles when you make demands. Most teachers, barring various voluntary deductions earn +/$500 per month (net). If I was the employer I would propose a minimum net of +/-700 for them just to cushion the cost of living but they should not be used by politicians masquerading as Union leaders.

  9. Action has to be taken

  10. So long as the government continues to bed-feather lavish life styles of Executives Chiefs and Warvets at the expense of other civil servants who it is forcing to accept below poverty line salaries. Threats and killings are naive and will not work time is up government realises every citizen of this country is entitled to a better living.

  11. Teachers are no longer negotiating in good faith. Why demonstrate at the same time agreeing to a meeting? These unions have simply turned into political activist groups

    1. Its called negotiating in bad faith. The teachers have taken a position and as such there should be no further negotiations. Its hard not to wonder what is behind this stance.
      Are the teachers’ salaries ‘enough’ based on the prevailing economic conditions? Definitely not.

  12. tmutekwe@uzlib.uz.ac.zw

    Workers of Zimbabwe should collectively come up with one firm solution. Unless this clueless government does away with its disfunctional Bearer Bond Notes the nation should now simply face a closedown. It is pointless to ask for a raise denominated in Bearer Bond Cheques/Notes because these mafiosi will simply print more of such hence fuelling hyper-inflation to beyond 2008 proportions. The problem with Zimbabwe is that it is led by mafia cartels that have dismally failed to learn from past mistakes. Mugabe’s blunders are simply replicated by Mnangagwa and Gono’s distractive tinkering with the financial system is just what Mangudya and Mthuli are doing too.Meanwhile the political leadership pays each other in US dollars and import their American fuel-guzzlers duty free whilst the povo is paid Bearer Bonds and legislated to pay US dollar import duty for their refurbished Ex-Japs. Its now a do or die situation.

  13. These teachers should act like professionals. Why are they acting like this. strike kuita sei kwacho. Ngavaende kubasa the Government knows their grievances and is looking into that. saka vari kuti ndivo vega ma civil servants here

    1. @ gift…lol hanzi government is looking into that….your level of delusion is appalling gift….rega ndinyarare hangu….

  14. I believe , considering the current cost of living tha the pay of teachers needs to be increased but I disagree with their demand to be paid in us dollars. If there is enough evidence of political subotage, I would not mind if the ministry shuts down government schools for a year or so to give the new adminstration breathing space to recover. There is nothing new about government temporarily shutting down sections of government as a tactictal move. The current situation in the Us is a good example.

  15. The national budget was proposed in USD not bond , so salaries and every aspect has to be in USD. How on earth shall a sane gvmnt propose a budget in a certain currency and pay in bond notes. Zvakanaka zvakadaro, the demands for salaries in usd are justified with the budget. Haungasakurisi vana vako munda wechibage wobva wavabikira sadza remhunga

  16. matebele warrior

    some of the commentators are either mentally dwaft or have a repressive thinking disorder.Teachers earn peanuts no matter how you do your calculations.A bus for a rural tacher is now $50.00 and one ‘s basic salary is $200.00.He goes to school today and come monethen and go back and come for next pay the janaury salary is finished.
    Think accordingly you guys.
    The govt of liars must be pushed to a corner

  17. Comment…teachers get 280 per month as basic salary,these are peanuts so for these goons to try to say the workers demands are political is evidence that the gvt has failed

  18. Haiwawo. Whats good about a government shutdown? The example you give haitomboenderani nemahumbwe enyu emuZim. Breathing space to recover from what? Caused by who? ChiZanu chenyu chaparadza nyika, muri madofo ekupedzisira.

  19. Our teachers should not be misled by these bogus teachers’union leaders who are not negotiating in good faith.

    My advice to the teachers is to shun these strikes and report for duty tomorrow. It is so painful when you get hoodwinked and ultimately lose your job.

    1. michael mutyosa

      Those who are saying teachers are negotiating in bad faith must have their heads examined. Doesn’t the so called gvnt know that medicine and other needs are sold in US$ and also that prices have quadrupled? What have they done to cushion civil servants. Do they not go outside the country for treatment? Otherwise there is nothing to negotiate with this hypocritical regime, the teachers are very patient. All along it was waiting for teachers to complain and then call for negotiations on issues that that are even making international headlines old fashioned delaying tactics. I wonder what austerity measures being talked about in a deteriorating environment. Nowhere can the economy ever recover with everyone spending days in fuel queue. Our situation can only get worse nothing else.

    2. @ letty….lol is it sustainable if there is a 300% inflation and one still works for the same salary of 280 bond…mathematically it means your salary has been reduced 3 times…how then do they go to work…teacher muzimbabwe akuhora a basic salary of $70 in USD….tell me how the hell he is supposed to work an entire month for mari isingahorwe na touter kana hwindi mu south africa…be rational.

  20. michael mutyosa

    Those who are saying teachers are negotiating in bad faith must have their heads examined. Doesn’t the so called gvnt know that medicine and other needs are sold in US$ and also that prices have quadrupled? What have they done to cushion civil servants. Do they not go outside the country for treatment? Otherwise there is nothing to negotiate with this hypocritical regime, the teachers are very patient. All along it was waiting for teachers to complain and then call for negotiations on issues that that are even making international headlines old fashioned delaying tactics. I wonder what austerity measures being talked about in a deteriorating environment. Nowhere can the economy ever recover with everyone spending days in fuel queue. Our situation can only get worse nothing else.

  21. some teachers will go to work. not because they love to but they have no option, all survival deals happen in a school environment. eg school some sell maputi, ex books, freezits,gets tipoff from students, do extra lessons here and there to suppliment whatever they get.

  22. some teachers will go to work. not because they love to but they have no option, all survival deals happen in a school environment. eg school some sell maputi, ex books, freezits,gets tipoff from students, do extra lessons here and there to suppliment whatever they get.

  23. Am surprised at why we ignore bare facts and jump into a political defence …..facts are there for everyone to see …everyone here knows the truth before we start talking politics …the economy is sliding uncontrollably and no-one can currently make a proper budget …it goes without saying that government hasnt been sincere in solving its employees problems ,remember the doctors and gvnment set before made representations as far back as even 2014 …made agreements which up to now havent been implemented ….unfortunately when reality strikes everyone uses politics as a fall back position …even in the private sector ,if you dont take care of your employees you will face unrest ,corruption ,substandard service or strikes ….thats why you see the civil service being so corrupt …they handle big transctions for the chefs while earning peanuts …when they complain ,they are threatened …various methods are employed to cow them up ….politics is one of the major methods used ….criminalise them and then arrest them …thats a temporary measure as the grievances dont go away …you can fire and hire through emotions but you compromise quality and service delivery ,reality is common ground has to found going foward …when you fire now …it means you dont care about the learners and parents who paid for a certain quality of service and education standard …its pushing the buck ….let government take responsibility and fix this in a new dispensation spirit …i can see the Mugabe ways manifesting a lot of late …if we are back there then we in biiiig trouble because our leaders would have betrayed the struggle !

  24. I will reiterate again that it is the politics part that spoils the broth ….as a country ,we need on the foundation of the truth …then we will move foward honestly and progressively …my question is we have ministers in all these affected sectors who have been watching things going bad and not acting …Minister of health ,Minister of education etc …they only want to act when there is a strike …those are the culprits …how does the whole Minister of energy watch till our fuel stocks are empty …how does the minister of finance watch until we are dry …hw do we allow Gono to come on board and play around with pple’s moneys and destroy the entire economy and jst slip away without accountability ,then Mangudya comes with his bond note and vouches for it that it will work …another experiment with the people”s economy and it fails and we just sing along again…its like we never learn at all …now when Mthuli comes ,he targets the the general public ,imposes his tax regime …its avicious circle …we know for sure there are culprits bleeding our economy …some were caught with US$10m red handed….so many scandals involving so much national money and no one is brought to book …RBZ is directly funding the “worldbank”…without doubt …even the ophatheleni will confirm that n give names …you dnt expect the gullible public Mthuli to fund the economy while at the top end there is no accountability …you are simple punishing the obedient povo while the powerful are enjoying the gravy train …can we for God ‘s sake tell the truth for once and fix our country with a new dispensation mentality …we cant drift backwards …politics comes n goes but the truth remains …our humanity remains ..we as zimbabweans remain together with our politican affiliations ,we need to be accountable …so much of the national economy is being strategically bled and in defence we politicise the scandals …unfortunately there a wheel of life that turns and when the time comes noone can stop it …

  25. As a mater of fact, the zimbabwean government is currently broke. There is no way it can satisfy all its employees under such circumstances, let us be honest. Government can increase that pay but only by so much during this time of austerity. The only practical thing to expect from government is some adjustment which will enable you to keep going for the mean time. Let’s be reasonable and practical. The authorities are currently buisy cleaning up their balance sheet after which the economic situation is surely going to improve gradualy and further salary increament negotiations can come.

  26. The Government is overburdened by 3000 Border Gezi Youth Officers. Even the youth officers they need pay rise like any other productive civil servant. Cleaning the balance sheet for how long?

  27. haa ma teacher achaenda pa strike ndaona adzingwa mabasa cz ma teacher mu zimbabwe akawandisa zvasiyana nema doctor verengai karl Marx paanotaura nezve reserve army of workers ma teacher mawandisa basa renyu harisisina weight .Hurumende ngaidzikise ma points anodiwa kuma universities ekuti vanhu vaite vanachiremba from 15 points to 13 points toita ma doctor akawanda to exporter mamwe kudzimwe Nyika toita mari .

  28. The problem Farai J Nhire is that the government claims to have no money but then buys vehicles for all and sundry. The doctors, teachers etc… can be forgiven for thinking they’re being lied to and the fact is they cannot survive on what they’re being paid. The inconsistencies by government have destroyed the faith the people were prepared to have in them and this is the inevitable consequence…

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