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Educators mull week-long strike


TEACHERS have announced plans to embark on a week-long industrial action beginning June 27 to press for a salary hike in the face of the ever rising cost of living.

The Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Union (Fozeu), an umbrella body for teacher unions, yesterday said: “On June 4, 2022, teacher unions under the federation met and resolved to mobilise for a week-long strike from June 27 to July 1, 2022. Members were also tasked to mobilise all civil servants to join the week-long strike.”

The teachers are demanding, among others, pre-2018 United States dollar salaries.

In 2018, teachers earned the equivalence of US$540 a month, but are now getting paid in Zimbabwe dollars, whose value has decreased through inflation, currently at 131%, in addition to a devaluing Zimbabwe dollar.

“Decent work indicators include adequate earnings, social dialogue, employers’ and workers’ representation, among others. Government pays workers 20 loaves of bread as monthly income, criminalises trade unionism and bans both collective job action and collective bargaining,” Fozeu added.

Government and teachers have been at loggerheads over a pay dispute.

The employer has harshly responded to the teachers by suspending educators who went on strike last term before docking their salaries.

But the educators went to court challenging the suspensions.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure urged teachers to join the week-long job stay-away.

“The teachers and other civil servants are being short-changed by the government. We just want others to participate so that we send a clear message to government. Enough is enough,” he said.

Trade unionist Peter Mutasa said public sector workers had been turned into slaves and were wallowing in poverty.

“Zimbabwean workers are slaves now. Government must end slavery,” he said.

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