Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) and Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) have joined hands in a move that will see Zimbabwe’s two largest teacher unions embark on industrial action starting 5 February 2019.
By Virginia Zifesho
This comes on the backdrop of a declaration of incapacitation to work made by teachers on the 8th of January this year, a situation which saw most schools failing to operate normally due to the absence of teachers at work stations during the month of January.
After having held several negotiations and meetings with a visibly uncommitted government, the teachers’ union finally declared their intention to strike beginning from 5 February 2019.
In a meeting held by the two Unions at ZIMTA Headquarters in Harare recently, they would speak with one voice in order to avoid confusion to teachers.
“We should speak with one voice, we cannot continue being quiet and this is the best time to unite as there is no better chance than this.
“We cannot be leading if teachers cannot sustain themselves, afford medication bills and or cannot access, food and rentals and can’t pay for CIMAS medical subscriptions,” they said.
Speaking in a joint interview, the secretary generals of the two Unions, ZIMTA Mr Tapson Nganunu Sibanda and PTUZ Mr Raymond Majongwe said teachers should celebrate the great move they made as it is aimed at bringing results of capacitating teachers and bringing back the former glory days, of the teaching profession.
“It’s not political, it is purely a labour matter and we are simply saying to government listen to what we are saying.
“It’s a milestone that we are here together and we agreed both for Tuesday as a day for Strike,” said the labour Unionists.
Also speaking on the sidelines of the meeting ZIMTA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sifiso Ndlovu said the government must realise and know that they are determined as Unions to achieve their goal.
ZIMTA and PTUZ have agreed that starting from the 5th of February 2019, all their members shall exercise their right in terms of section 65 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act, 2013 to embark on collective job action (strike).