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Teachers to challenge no work, no pay policy

by Staff reporter
23 Apr 2021 at 07:33hrs | Views
THE impasse between teachers and government over salaries has escalated, with the educators' representatives resolving to engage lawyers to challenge the no-work, n-pay policy threatened by government.

Government effected a 25% salary hike on teachers' salaries this month, which saw the highest paid teacher earning $22 000, but unions have rejected the increment, demanding that government should revert to the pre-October 2018 salaries of between US$520 and US$550 or their equivalent in local currency.

In a meeting attended by seven teachers' unions to deliberate on issues affecting the educators on Wednesday in Harare, the leaders agreed to seek legal counsel to ensure that they are not victimised for not reporting for duty due to incapacitation.

Speaking during a post-Cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government acknowledged that no lessons were taking place in schools, but said it would enforce the no-work, no-pay policy.

According to a statement released by the Zimbabwe National Teachers Union (Zinatu) , the teachers' representatives resolved that teachers will continue reporting for duty for only two days per week until government addresses their concerns.

The representatives bemoaned Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema's lack of commitment to the welfare of the teachers and resolved to write him, demanding that he should fight in their corner.

"Members deliberated on the legal consequences of defying the no-work, no-pay principle and decided to seek legal advice in the event that the employer chooses to invoke the no-work, no-pay principle," the Zinatu statement read.

"It was also agreed to go and further consult our various legal counsels on whether or not to demonstrate our incapacitation and to what extent our actions are protected by law.

"Members expressed concern over the behaviour by Minister Cain Mathema, who is using discriminatory tactics and antics through unleashing wanton threats and a reign of terror on teachers as if teachers have turned into terrorists."

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou urged government to stop threatening the teachers, but engage them in dialogue for a mutual agreement on the salary stand-off.

"In the current impasse between government and teachers, over poor wages, social dialogue has been absent," he said.

"We have seen a quantum leap of threats directed to teachers and school heads and even weird proclamations that government will now employ the principle of no-work, no-pay.

"Such a principle is noble where workers are earning a living wage and not in Zimbabwe where government has unilaterally culled teachers' salaries."

Source - the independent