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Teachers fume over pay hike

by Staff reporter
04 Apr 2021 at 08:50hrs | Views
THE Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has accused the Apex Council of conniving with government to frustrate negotiations for a salary increment for civil servants after the authorities awarded them a 75% increase last week.

PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said teachers were not happy with the Apex Council's approach to the negotiations.

"We reiterate our long-held view that Apex Council is the problem of all problems, and evil of all evils," Zhou said.

"Whether it changes name to ZCPSTU, it doesn't change this reality.

"How Apex Council guys have the audacity to discuss 25% or 45% when other workers in government were rewarded salaries that quadrupled those of teachers without any negotiation, baffles logic and common sense."

Teachers recently rejected the 75% salary increment offered to all civil servants, saying the adjustment was not a product of collective bargaining.

"Apex Council has for a long time abused teachers and the time to rally behind the Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Union (FOZEU) in order to foster unity in diversity and the education sector specific allowances, is now," Zhou added.

"The nurses did it and junior doctors did it, why can teachers not do it also? Are we cursed and appendages to the moribund, rusty and archaic Apex, I wonder?"

He said unless teachers strengthened their resolve and determination towards demanding better remuneration, they were bound to die in poverty.

"I am sure many of us have now seen the Fools' Day results.," Zhou said.

"The truth is that such results must be resisted by all level-headed teachers, lest we sink deeper and deeper into poverty and penury, and ultimately die as paupers."

"The basic point is that teachers must be awarded a rescue package given to other government workers before we can even talk of negotiation.

"There is no need to negotiate discrimination. We should rather demand redress after which we can then talk of negotiation, which in essence cannot even happen under the collective begging of Apex Council and NJNC (National Joint Negotiating Council), but under section 65 of the constitution of Zimbabwe and ILO (International Labour Organisation) Conventions 87 and 98 to which Zimbabwe is a signatory.

"We further urge government to ratify Conventions 151 and 154 that in essence impacts on collective bargaining between government and its workers."

Teachers are demanding a review of their salaries, which they say are below those of other civil servants and members of the security forces.

Zhou urged government to make more concerted efforts to ensure that teachers remained dedicated to their conditions of service.

"Our demand for the restoration of the purchasing power parity of teachers' salaries remains unshaken," he said.

"We are everything, yet we now count for nothing.

"None, but ourselves can liberate ourselves from starvation bondage.

"We remain committed to our work, but need a conducive environment and support from government to be innovative, dynamic and industrious.

"Such a situation cannot ensue under debilitating effects of starvation wages.

"Every teacher must be part of the solution and not part of the problem."

Apex Council secretary-general David Dzatsunga scoffed at Zhou's allegations.

"If you (PTUZ) are referring to the Apex Council, what is it that you are doing to make things better? We can only do what is possible," he said.

Teachers have been threatening to go on strike to press government to review their salaries.

Source - the standard
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