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Opinion / Columnist

Teachers are not enemies of State

22 Apr 2021 at 06:18hrs | Views
THE government exposes its true nature with each pass-ing moment and not only does it make bold, dumb, illegal and reckless statements, but it does it with so much lack of thought and arrogance.

The current state of teacher welfare is despicable due to poor remuneration and unjust labour practices and economic environment, and now the government has come up with retrogressive tactics of threaten-ing not to pay teachers who do not report for duty.

While Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema can barely appreciate the definition of incapacitation due to the mega salary and benefits he enjoys, ordinary teachers feel the pinch every passing second.

The no-work-no-pay principle is outdated and diminishes the whole purpose of employer-employee relations within the con-fines of the law This so-called principle is ultra vires the concept of fair labour practice in Zimbabwe.

Teachers are incapacitated to report for duty everyday or any day, but they are sacrificing to keep the sector alive. It is insulting that after their sacrifices, government has chosen to further punish them by threatening to take away the little they are forced to survive on.

Teachers refuse to be treated like rogue elements and enemies of the State by a few evil servants who wield authority. If the government proceeds with this course of action, teachers will have no option, but to resist and defy such travesty of justice.

The profession has moved from a shell of silence to a shield of resistance against dictatorial tendencies, pronouncements and decisions that seek to sink it into abyss.

Teachers should be properly remunerated in line with the standard agreed between the employer and the employees of a minimum of US$$520 and not the measly salaries currently being offered.

Teachers are now supplementing their income through extra lessons and this is an abnormal situation caused by low salaries that cannot sustain their lives.

The government is responsible for this crisis and has no one to blame, but itself.

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union in Zimbabwe will not take this assault lying down, but commits to defend teacher's dignity and protect their labour rights at all costs.

Now is the time to unite and collectively fight for a common purpose which is to halt this persistent attack on the teaching profession and education sector by our government.


Source - newsday
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