Teachers union have declared a deadlock with government over salary negotiations and will be reporting for duty two days a week while dedicating the remainder to conduct menial jobs for survival, Secretary General of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) Raymond Majongwe has said.
Reporting to his constituency following a meeting with government representatives today, Majongwe said nothing concrete came out of the meeting hence their decision to proceed with their industrial action.
“Cdes the meeting has just ended nothing concrete has come out. Government has not offered anything. The Meeting had three Cabinet Ministers three Perm Secs RBZ Governor and leadership of 18 government staff associations/Unions.
“The Union Leadership unequivocally stated to government plenipotentiaries that workers are incapacitated to return for duty. Several other issues were also raised and discussed. As usual government want the matter taken to NJNC,” said Majongwe.
In an interview with 263Chat, Majongwe said teachers unions have given their employer two weeks to respond to their grievances agreed to report for duty tomorrow and work only two days per week.
“We resolved that teachers are incapacitated to turn up duty and they will be attending work for two days per week the other three days they will be working somewhere.”
Posting on Twitter, Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting insisted that government cannot pay its workers in United States dollars.
“In discussion with workers today Govt explained that it cannot go back to paying workers in USD as in 2009. This is because 2009 total wage bill was around $30m per month. Now it’s $300m per month. Monthly exports are around the same figure, making USD payment impossible,” tweeted the Information ministry.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana also posted on Twitter defending government over its insistence on paying workers in bond notes.
“The government has negotiated in good faith, bent backwards and made unprecedented concessions.
“If the other party negotiated in bad faith and does the dishonourable thing then they should consider the offers rescinded. Government will not be obligated to honour that agreement,” said Mangwana.
Meanwhile another grouping of teachers under the banner of Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) are currently picketing at the Ministry of Finance offices demanding to be paid in foreign currency.
Earlier in the day, nine of their members were arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers as they embarked on a demonstration protesting against poor remuneration and working conditions.