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Zimbabwe teachers call for job action over salaries

by Staff reporter
19 Mar 2024 at 12:57hrs | Views
THE Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Unions, (Fozeu), has called for an immediate job action starting from tomorrow after teachers declared incapacitation amid rising inflation and cost of living.

For years, the teachers and their employer have been locked in an endless salary battle, with the educators lobbying for the restoration of the US$540 salary scale which prevailed before October 2018.

Last week, the teachers rejected a 6,66% cost of living adjustment proposed by government, demanding a meaningful salary increment.

Government increased the current US$300 cost of living wage by US$20 to US$320, a figure which was deemed insufficient and out of touch with the economic realities facing educators.

In a statement, Fozeu said the collective job action of radical teachers' unions in Zimbabwe will begin tomorrow.

"Following the conclusion of consulting teachers on a fight back strategy in the face of the mockery of a US$20 increment, a total of 56 700 teachers were consulted both offline and online.

"(Some) 55 220 of the consulted teachers asked Fozeu to call for a job action before schools close for the first term and mobilise for an indefinite national strike when schools open for the second term," the teachers' union said.

Some of the grievances expressed by the teachers during consultations included incapacity to pay examination fees for their children because of inadequate salaries.

"The Federation hereby declares that no teacher should report for duty from Wednesday March 20, 2024 to Friday March 22, 2024.

"Teachers who can, are encouraged to demonstrate their outrage by protesting in streets and showing placards of their grievances. The protests can be done in different communities during the same period," the Fozeu statement further reads.

Fozeu urged the mass action to be escalated as the second term opens until the employer pays a living wage.

"Fozeu stands ready to provide legal assistance to all teachers who may face victimisation during the coming job action. The Federation calls upon teachers to mobilise each other at class room level to make this action a success.

"The employer has to be forced to pay a living wage of US$1 260. Teachers are encouraged to seize this opportunity to apply pressure on the employer by completely withdrawing labour. The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the right to strike and picket," the Fozeu statement added.

In response, Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said the ministry would continue to prioritise open communication and seek resolutions to ensure the continuity of education for all pupils.

"We will continue conducting negotiations as the parent ministry for teachers as we aim to address the concerns raised by teachers, especially those within our mandate," he said.

"We will work towards finding mutually agreeable solutions for the provision of quality education for our nation."

Source - newsday
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