Teachers blast National Joint Negotiation Council

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Artuz president Obert Masaraure

BY KUDAKWASHE TAGWIREYI

TEACHERS unions yesterday accused the National Joint Negotiation Council (NJNC) of betraying their cause by consenting to a government pay deal which includes a 20% increment and a US$100 cash allowance to be converted from the local currency salary component.

Last Friday, civil servants representatives under the auspices of the NJNC met with government and assented to the new pay deal.


National Joint Negotiation Council (NJNC) statement

But teachers unions, that have been demanding that government must pay them the pre-October 2018 salary of US$540, accused the NJNC of sabotaging them.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said his members had not consented to the new salary offer.

“It seems that the NJNC was not representing the cause of teachers who are incapacitated. We do not recognise the NJNC, and are not going back to work until teachers are fully capacitated. The NJNC has betrayed the teachers’ cause,” he said.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association secretary general Goodwill Taderera said: “The NJNC consented to the government offer and we are their member. Teachers, however, will not be willing to return to work despite our representatives (NJNC) having consented to the offer. We will meet and decide whether it is prudent that our members should return for duty. Consenting verbally is one thing and reporting for duty is another. We will see if teachers will report for work on Monday (today).”

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president said teachers were still incapacitated and had not agreed to the new salary offer.

“Even if teachers are willing to report for work, they are still incapacitated. The government must offer teachers a rescue package to afford them to report for work. We are still collecting members’ views on the issue,” he said.


Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou

Said Zimbabwe National Union of School Heads president Munyaradzi Majoni: “We are actually on an online meeting today (yesterday) to map the way forward for school heads.”

Last week, government responded by suspending all educators that did not report for duty when schools opened last week.

Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro told State media at the weekend that investigations into the conduct of truant teachers had commenced.

“In a couple of days after investigations and disciplinary hearings, we will know the exact number of suspended teachers,” Zhou was quoted saying.


Taungana Ndoro

Meanwhile, in a statement yesterday, the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) said nurses were also considering taking a position if government continues to unlawfully suspend teachers that have declared incapacitation.

“We implore government to immediately revoke the unlawful suspensions issued to teachers, and invite not only to teachers but the civil service at large to the negotiating table to find a lasting solution,” the Zina statement read.

“Should it become clear that the government intends to proceed with the unlawful position, nurses in Zimbabwe will have to consider their position as we cannot watch our colleagues being punished for grievances we all share.”

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