CHILDREN across Zimbabwe could go for the entire first term without achieving set learning outcomes owing to the teachers continued rejection of newly gazetted allowances amid intensified calls by Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) to embark on “go slow” and reduced working days.
A Monday statement signed by Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president, Takavafira Zhou expressed discontent over Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s unilateral approach in awarding recent allowances.
“Our initial incapacitation notice to the employer still stands and in the interests of tapping and harnessing all members’ interests and energies, we will be working for a minimum of one day Monday and, where possible, a maximum of two days (Monday and Friday) per week,” Zhou said.
The PTUZ has placed a salary of US$500 per month or its inter-bank equivalence.
He said the current teachers’ salary inclusive of $780 cushioning allowance is far less than US$70 and falls far short of US$500 or its equivalence.
“Our members are infuriated by Minister Mthuli Ncube’s unilateral and banditry enunciation of cushions without engaging teachers in any collective bargaining,” he said.
Zhou said the educators’ dispute of right is far from being resolved amid widespread suggestions across the unon’s structures for members to reduce the number of working days.
“We must continue to mobilise cowards to be part of the solution, and our pupils and parents to join our struggle in an attempt to find a permanent solution to teachers’ starvation wages. Teachers’ children must be exempted from paying tuition fees in every school where teachers are paid by government,” he added.
The other two teachers unions, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) and the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) have since notified government on plans to engage on industrial action.
Investigations conducted by The Humanitarian Post show that several teachers in city centers have resorted to collecting money for extra lessons from pupils ranging between a total of US$5 to US$10 per child for a one month period.
Scared of classroom victimisation the, parents are left with no choice except to run around and raise the money.