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President sends Solidarity Message to Teachers' Unions

by Maxwell Teedzai
13 Dec 2021 at 08:19hrs | Views
HARARE: NMWUZ - National Mine Workers' Union of Zimbabwe President Kurebwa Javangwe Nomboka and his Executive, National Council and General Workers have sent a solidarity message to ARTUZ - Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and PTU - Progressive Teachers' Union saying that Government had to separate politics from labour issues and genuinely address the grievances of teachers which remained unresolved despite years of engagement for salary review.

The solidarity message came out after Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa had recently expressed disappointment over Teachers' representative organisations which he allegedly blamed to be working with foreign governments to undermine his Administration.

"We're sending our solidarity message to ARTUZ and PTU to remind them that our stance of comradeship remains unwavering and that we'll not rest until all employees in Zimbabwe secure decent work and a living wage. On the same wavelength, we also would want to assure them of our total support until all the labour concerns of Teachers in Zimbabwe are resolved with the honour they deserve," said Nomboka in a statement.

"And industrial unrest, he said must continue to be the order of the day because no worker is happy that an economic issue meant to address real labour grievances be treated as a political matter as we all know how President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa had recently accused Teachers' Unions of working in cohorts with the British government to topple the Zimbabwean government," retorted Nomboka.

President Mnangagwa had said during a Zanu Pf Politburo meeting that the comments made by a Junior Minister in the UK House of Lords had revealed that the British Government were clandestinely holding meetings with Trade Unions in Zimbabwe to discuss the country's sovereign labour issues.

Nomboka added, "Government must not victimise Unions but should rather treat labour issues separately and apolitically while simultaneously rendering them the respect they deserve because honestly speaking, employees in Zimbabwe continue to work under meagre conditions".

Government he further noted had to lead by example and stop the further victimisation of its employees as this move was likely to cause protocol disability where for instance they would fail to honour the rights of employees and their respective Trade Unions by not granting them freedom of expression, the right to assemble and their right to a decent life, matters which he feared would cause Workers' Committees, employers, companies and the private sector to follow suit in victimisation of Unions.

The parlous state of Zimbabwe's education system, lack of investment in quality public education, living wage and payment for invigilation of examinations run by ZIMSEC, among many other things continue to be a thorn in the flesh for employees.

"If Government continues to threaten the existence of Workers' Committees and Trade Unions we're left with no other option but the demand for a spontaneous strike as a remedy," said the NMWUZ President.

The ARTUZ is an organisation founded in 2009, working for the improvement of the working conditions of Rural Teachers as well as the right to education in rural areas of Zimbabwe. ARTUZ has over eight thousand members and operates in eight provinces of Zimbabwe.

Amid rising concern over the new COVID-19 variant, omicron, the Government of Zimbabwe has done nothing to ensure the health security of workers in general and Teachers in particular.

PTUZ has since denied the allegations saying it is only determined to ensure that the government has improved teachers' salaries and working conditions.

Source - Maxwell Teedzai
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