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Zimbabwe varsity workers threaten strike over poor salaries

by Staff reporter
19 Feb 2024 at 04:54hrs | Views
State university workers have threatened to down tools accusing the government of failing to pay decent salaries.

The workers through their unions, the Zimbabwe State Universities Union of Academics (ZISUUA) and the Zimbabwe Universities and Allied Workers Union (ZUAWU), have since given their employer a 14-day notice of their intention to take job action.

 "It is with great sadness that we write to you as the Zimbabwe Universities and Allied Workers Union (ZUAWU) and the Zimbabwe State Universities Union of Academics (ZISUUA), hereby referred to as the Zimbabwe State Universities Joint Council, on behalf of all State universities workers, formally notifying you of our fourteen (14) days' notice period of intention to embark on a strike," read the statement.

 The unions said university commercialised projects had been failing to supply funds that cater for workers' salaries thereby worsening the high cost of living induced by a stringent budget.

"Regrettably, our previous efforts to engage you have never materialised, even though you are our de facto employer. We would like to bring to your attention that the State universities innovation hubs and commercialised projects are failing to generate surplus funds to cater to university workers' salaries.

"The high cost of living coupled with our meagre remuneration has resulted in our failure to meet the basic needs such as feeding ourselves and our families, paying rentals, clothing our families, transporting ourselves to work, paying utility bills, paying school fees for our children and covering medical bill shortfalls. This situation has plunged university workers into gross incapacitation."

ZUAWU secretary-general Jabulani Mpofu said the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry also failed to pay according to skills level since all university workers receive US$300 component which is now heavily taxed.

"The government has failed to equate payments according to skills class. You would find that all workers from general hands to doctors receive the same US$300 component with only the local currency varying. University workers do not have a salary to talk about as the little they get is heavily taxed.

"The Zimdollar value is just equivalent to the least paid civil servant although some varies as per rank," Mpofu said.

University workers also blamed the Zimbabwe State Universities Councils for failing to award salary increases in line with the national poverty datum line.

Early this month, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe flagged a disaster for families countrywide after revealing that the family basket had doubled to ZWL$6,2 million from ZWL$3,6 million in December due to the continued depreciation of the local currency.

Source - newsday