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Teachers to down chalks next week

by Staff reporter
03 Jan 2019 at 09:11hrs | Views
RURAL teachers have announced plans to go on strike starting Monday next week when schools open for the first term, compounding President Emmerson Mnangagwa's woes, as he battles to contain a strike by doctors that has crippled the health sector.

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has already advised the Public Service Commission of the strike action if government failed to meet the teachers' demands, which include payment of salaries in United States dollars and removal of the 2% tax on electronic transactions.

"All Artuz members shall withdraw their labour beginning on January 7, 2018 as part of the industrial action. Regular updates shall be circulated to inform all members and stakeholders on any development regarding the strike action," part of the letter, dated December 31, read.

The letter was signed by Artuz secretary-general Robson Chere and copied to the Primary and Secondary Education as well as Finance ministries.

The teachers are also demanding that government provides adequate learning materials for the new curriculum, salaries to be paid in United States dollars as last negotiated in 2012 as well as 2018 annual bonuses on gross income.

According to the letter, the duration of strike would be indefinite unless government meets their grievances.

Artuz members last month embarked on a 266km protest match from Mutare to Harare to force government to address the same demands. They were, however arrested in Macheke and then Ruwa, before the courts set them free.

In a circular to its members, Artuz said in part: "We have notified the employer of our intention to withdraw labour beginning January 7 if the issues are not addressed. The teachers and the members of the working class will camp at the Finance ministry on January 7 demanding either an end to austerity or Ncube's resignation from the position of Finance minister."

The opposition MDC has also threatened to protest the deteriorating standards of living this year, while the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has threatened a national shutdown.

Source - newsday

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