Teachers’ unions on collision course with Govt

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Teachers dig-in on strike
Artuz leader Obert Masaraure

Teachers’ unions on collision course with Govt

THE Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) on Monday blamed Government for rising levels of chaos in schools as teachers continue to abscond pointing to low pay and unsafe conditions.

Teachers say Government has failed to fully fund implementation of COVID-19 standard operation procedures, exposing both learners and teachers to the virus.

Artuz said Government has also remained obstinate to reasonably increasing teachers’ salaries.

“Government remains obdurate, refusing to restore the real value of teachers salaries to a minimum of US$ 520: Teachers salaries were slashed illegally through currency reforms in 2018,” Artuz said.

Schools are gradually opening, where another batch returned Monday but teachers’ unions have vowed to continue to strike, saying negotiations with Government have faltered.

Speaking to Zim Morning Post, the Zimbabwe National Educators Union (Zineu) secretary general, who is also part of the National Joint Negotiation (NJNC), Charles Chinosengwa, said council had rejected Government’s offer, demanding that they revisit their offer before educators return for duty.

“At the NJNC, nothing much availed. We are waiting for government to come up with a better offer: Transport paid now by government can only meet costs for two days, and housing allowances can’t even afford a room,” Chinosengwa said.

He also added that government was supposed to uphold the right to education yet they seemed ‘unmoved’ by the demands to restore teachers salaries.

“They are not co-operating; we are not asking for salary increases but restoration of our salaries as at October 2018,” he said.

“We are ready to go to work if government capacitates us. We have principles we use to determine housing and transport allowances,” Chinosengwa told Zim Morning Post.

Artuz said Government is supposed to be upholders of the right to education yet they seem ‘unmoved’ by the crisis in the education sector.

“Government, according to Section 75 of the Constitution, is supposed to protect and uphold the right to education in Zimbabwe,” Artuz said.

“It is our responsibility to hold duty bearers accountable and we cannot allow the education sector to collapse,” Artuz continued.

Against this backdrop,Artuz launched campaign #SaveOurEducationZW which, according to Nation Mudzitirwa, seeks to push Government to resolve urgently the salaries issue so teachers can go back to the classrooms.

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