Teachers Push For Wage Review Ahead Of Schools Reopening

Teachers continue to push for a review of their salaries ahead of reopening of a new school term citing incapacitation to execute their duties.

Government this week announced the school calendar with examination classes scheduled to open on the 15th of March followed by the rest on the 22nd of the same month.

However, due to lack of progress on reviewing of teacher salaries, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has warned of a possible disruption to the school calendar.

“As of now, teachers are incapacitated. As long as the government does not address this issue, then there will not be proper implementation of the work plan for the scheduled examinations.”

“It is painfully worrisome that we are entering the third month into the New Year with teachers singing the same song of incapacitation. This is despite that the employer is in the full knowledge of the erosion of our salaries by price hikes which began as we approached the festive season last December,” he said.

Teachers are demanding salaries equivalent to US$520.

(ARTUZ) has told finance minister Professor Mthuli Ncube and Public Service counterpart Professor Paul Mavhima to address the civil servants salary issue before schools open.

Posting on social media, ARTUZ welcomed the announcement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on re-opening of schools.

“The instruction from President Mnangagwa was loud and clear. Schools should get ready for opening.

“Prof Mavima and Mthuli Ncube address the salary crisis and capacitate @MoPSEZim to address the safety concerns,” said the union.

Stayaways by teachers and other civil servants such as nurses has become a frequent occurrence in recent years as government battle to offer a decent wage to its employers.

The development has been exacerbated by the devaluing of the Zimbabwean dollar that has eroded value from incomes.

Last week, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Paul Mavima in an interview with 263Chat conceded that his ministry had received a letter from the public service negotiating team seeking talks on the issue and said engagements were to take place in due course.

There are however concerns around the preparedness of writing classes particularly those residing in rural areas who have not been able to learn virtually during COVID-19 lockdown due to lack of internet connectivity.

“While teachers are ready to assist, our worry is that some learners, especially those in rural areas are not yet equipped to sit for the June examinations since they were not partaking in online lessons as they had no gadgets. Some of the teachers in the rural areas do not even own a smartphone, and this will affect June registrations,” Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ)secretary-general, Raymond Majongwe Majongwe said.

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