Zimbabwean teachers now the least paid civil servants. Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President Takavafira Zhou in a statement said after the deferment of the reopening of schools due to our herculean resistance against ill-informed intentions to prematurely open schools by Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education officials and some yellow teacher union leaders irrigating their pants, there are several fault lines that need our collective scrutiny.
Teachers are worried about the difference between their salaries and those of other civil servants such as the armed forces after noticing that they have become the least paid among the government workers. “A major fault line is the issue of serious discrepancies in salaries received by teachers in comparison to other sectors particularly police, soldiers, University Lecturers and top civil servants,” Zhou said.
“We are all aware that at entry point teachers’ salaries were slightly higher than that of police and soldiers and one-third of salaries received by University Lecturers. As such, giving teachers $1200 as 50 per cent COVID 19 allowance, soldiers and the police $5000 to $9000, University Lecturers $19000 to $33000, top civil servants $25000 to $40000, baffles logic and common sense.
Consequently, teachers received salaries ranging from $3800 to $4500 whereas police and soldiers received salaries ranging from $10 000 to $18000, top civil servants $50000 to $80000 and lecturers would receive salaries ranging from $38 000 to $66 000.”
He said while they do not begrudge these salaries, they certainly need an explanation from the government as teachers in order to understand its selective forgetfulness.
“Contrary to the perception of some malcontents within the teacher trade union movement, this is not the pursuit of any political party agenda but rather a pursuit of monumental labour justice and a stand against unfair labour practice, callousness, prejudice, narrow-mindedness and political bigotry,” reads this statement.
“It is a call for responsible leadership, transparency, accountability, political security and equity. If this is a product of belonging to the Apex Council, then to hell with the Apex Council that has become a liability rather than an asset. We know this may not necessarily have anything to do with the moribund and obsolete Apex Council but we certainly need an explanation to teachers from the government.”.
“A considerable number of teachers turned to agony, anguish and wailing after receiving the starvation wages. Our view as PTUZ is that there is no need to regret for being a teacher, and teachers must never mentally resign although they physically remain teachers in Zimbabwe. The situation where 99 percent of teachers have mentally resigned although they physically remain as teachers is not enviable for the profession.”
Zhou said rather teachers across the country must get organised and force their leaders to collectively unite and seek an explanation from the government as it is within the purview of trade unionism to do so.
He said there is also a need for unity in their diversity in clamouring for the restoration of their October 2018 salaries pegged at US$550.
“The restoration of our purchasing power parity is a dispute of right that must unite teachers across the union and non-union divide. There is no need to try to politicise such a clear labour issue. As long as our politics is non-partisan but focused on creating a credible education system in Zimbabwe there is nothing to fear except fear itself,” Zhou said.
Source – Bulawayo24
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