Teachers divided over job action

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DIVISIONS have rocked teacher unions over the fight for better salaries with the majority opting for dialogue with government to resolve a wage deadlock between them and their employer.

Schools open tomorrow for the first term amid complaints of low salaries by teachers.

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has asked its members to down tools starting tomorrow, but other teacher unions have urged their members to report for duty and wait for the outcome of the proposed dialogue with government.

Artuz is demanding a minimum wage of US$1 260 for teachers.

Other teacher unions are, however, demanding that government should revert to the pre-October 2018 salaries of between US$540 and US$800.

“If the employer is not prepared to pay a living wage, teachers are incapacitated to go and open schools. Teachers are hereby urged to go and wait for the announcement of a salary review either at the assembly point or in the staff room,” Artuz said.

“Teachers should not attend to any duties until salaries are reviewed. Teachers should share pictures of them sitting in on opening day from their respectful schools.”

But in a communiqué to its members, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said the union was engaging other teacher representatives to come up with the same position to collectively engage the government.

“We note with great concern and sadness that nothing has happened to our salaries except the pronouncement by government that the US dollar allowances will now be converted to salaries starting this January,” PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said.

“While we are waiting for due process to happen, we strongly believe that the urgency must not be destroyed. For us to start the new term in an honest and earnest way, there must be pointers as to where we are going.”

Majongwe said collective effort was effective to compel the government to review teachers’ salaries.

“As PTUZ, we have already started engaging and mobilising other unions so that this coming week, Monday or Tuesday, we meet to come up with a united front position. This task can’t be relegated to one union. We are stronger together,” he added.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) secretary-general Goodwill Taderera said its members would report for duty tomorrow as it pushes for dialogue with the government.

“We need not to use force every time,” Taderera said.

“We believe in resolving our issues through dialogue as Zimta. Already, the government has indicated that it is willing to engage us over several issues that are of concern. We wait for that to happen. In the meantime, our members will report for duty as we talk with the government. Our decision is also informed by resolutions of the Apex Council. As it is, there is no resolution to the effect that teachers should down tools.

“As Zimta, we believe in collective efforts in engaging government over the various issues that are affecting teachers in deliverance of their duties. But on Tuesday, our members will report for duty and deliver.” NewsDay
















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