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Pupil drags teachers to court

by Staff reporter
30 Aug 2021 at 18:26hrs | Views
A LEARNER at Mafuko Primary School in Gwanda district in Matabeleland South has approached the High Court on an urgent basis seeking an order barring teachers in public schools from embarking on an industrial action over poor salaries and working conditions.

The minor Amohelang Ulukile Dube (9), who is being presented by her grandmother, Ms Senzeni Nyathi, through her lawyers Ndove and Associates, filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court in Bulawayo.

In papers before the court,  the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta), Zimbabwe Confederation of Public  Sector Trade Unions, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), the  chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Dr Vincent Hungwe, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema, Minister of Public Service, Labour and social Welfare Professor Paul Mavima  and Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube, were cited as respondents.

The application follows the recent threats by teachers not resume work when schools reopen for the second term in the event their demands for better working conditions are not met by the Government. Teachers are demanding that Government pay them US$550 or its equivalent in local currency.

In her founding affidavit, Ms Nyathi said the actions of the cited teacher unions and their members to refuse to take up classes over salary grievances and improved working conditions teachers coupled with the non-intervention of the Government constitutes a violation of the children's rights to education as enshrined in sections 75 and 81 of the country's Constitution.

She wants the teachers' unions together with their members interdicted from boycotting classes with all teachers being directed to report for duty within 48 hours of the granting of the order.

"I further seek ancillary relief to the effect that the Government be ordered and mandated to provide teaching staff to ensure that there would be no interruption of teaching services or classes in all public primary and secondary schools in Zimbabwe so that the rights of the children are not violated," said Ms Nyathi.

The applicant said in the event that the teachers refuse to comply, Government should be directed to take all measures to ensure that there is no interruption of classes in all public schools.

Government recently warned that teachers going on strike will be fired or at the very least face suspension of pay after activation of systems to track the malpractices. It is standard labour practice around the world that striking workers are not paid, even when their strike is considered legal. Those whose strike is legal cannot be fired for not attending work, but are still not paid while away.

Source - the herald