… strike continues
BY Faith Chapfika
NEGOTIATIONS between teachers and government over working conditions and salaries hit a snag following a three-hour meeting, where government allegedly offered land in lieu of improved salaries.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general said teachers spurned the government offers for land during the three-hour meeting and instead called on their employer to pay a living wage.
“We have just come from a meeting that lasted about three and half hours and we engaged (Labour minister Paul) Mavima, (Primary Education minister Cain) Mathema and some other senior government officials. The good thing is up to now all unions are speaking with a united voice, we are not compromising, we have not capitulated, we have not betrayed the cause… we have sent and communicated an, an adulterated, that says as unions we are not going to budge, our members are not on strike we are incapacitated and our point is very clear we are not going to settle for anything less than what we were earning in October 2018,” Majongwe said.
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Teachers were earning on average USD 550 during the multi-currency regime but their salaries have been whittled to around USD 30 to $35 per month
Zimbabwe Teachers Association, (Zimta) communications officer Daisy Zambuko said the current salaries being paid were not enough to cover basic transport, accommodation and even fees for their own children.
“We are not sure of what exactly its meant to do because its way to insignificant to be called a salary, not even enough to cover teachers transport fees and right now we are not in the mood of subsidizing the employer so we cannot call it a salary because it’s still insignificant to make teachers change their minds and go back to work”.
Government said it has increased the salaries for teachers by 40 percent on top of a USD$75 Covid 19 allowance, but Zimta said its way too little.
“As far as teachers are concerned there has not been any salary increment or salary adjustment, we have seen a figure being put in our accounts just a small allowance said,” Zambuko.