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Zimbabwe teachers embark on 2-day working week

by Staff reporter
09 May 2023 at 06:05hrs | Views
TEACHERS unions have declared that their members will only report for duty two days a week due to financial incapacitation.

Schools reopened for the second term yesterday with educators under the #Teachers4USD movement saying they would only report for work on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The #Teachers4USD movement was created by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) in March this year after claims that government had captured union leaders taking part in salary negotiations through the National Joint Negotiation Council.

In a statement yesterday, Artuz spokesperson Thembakuye Moyo said teachers remained incapacitated and were demanding government to pay them US$1 260 per month.

Teachers are currently earning US$250 on top of their local salary component of between $160 000 and $200 000.

The local currency, which was reintroduced in 2019 after a decade of a multicurrency system, is trading at a 100% premium on the parallel market where it is pegged at between $2 500 and $2 700 to the greenback; and US$1 070 on the official market.

"The movement further interviewed 1 512 teachers to ascertain their preparedness to go back to work. Only 42 out of 1 512 were fully committed to going back to work.

"This translates to just 2,7% of teachers. The majority, 870 teachers, 57,5% prefer to report for duty twice a week; 596 teachers, 39,4% prefer to completely withdraw their labour," Moyo said.

He said the #Teachers4USD had resolved that its members report for duty twice a week.

"The movement is further calling on teachers and parents to join hands and stage nationwide protests demanding the right to education for learners in line with section 75 of the Constitution. The movement has deployed leaders nationwide to co-ordinate the national protest action.

"We call upon the government of Emmerson Mnangagwa to prioritise the education of our people through paying teachers a living wage and availing tuition grants for learners," he said.

Contacted for comment, Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Taungana Ndoro warned against the move.

"Their 386 members can continue to be stubborn and reckless at their own peril," he said.

Last year, the government investigated more than 22 000 teachers and headmasters for failing to report for work, and 1 220 were suspended.

This was despite the civil servants citing incapacitation.

Source - newsday