The government has urged the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) to hold off their strike which is scheduled for Monday the 20th of February 2017, until all dialogue has been exhausted.
Artuz announced that teachers were going to go on strike due to the fact that government is yet to pay civil servants their 2016 bonuses. The government, on the other hand, has admitted that it does not have money for the payments, and has instead offered three alternatives, which have been rejected by most unions representing civil servants.
The ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social wrote to the teachers saying:
You may wish to note that the meeting convened by the minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, together with the minister of Finance and Economic Development and the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, with workers’ representatives was adjourned to February 20, 2017, to allow for further consultations
Therefore, your intention to proceed on strike on a matter that is still under consideration is detrimental to social dialogue. You are, therefore, urged to give negotiations a chance.
Despite this, however, Artuz insisted that the strike is still on and will go ahead as scheduled.
Our job action is going ahead on Monday next week and we are mobilising on the ground
said Artuz secretary-general, Robson Chere yesterday told NewsDay. If the strike goes on as scheduled, it will mean that the government will be battling on two fronts, as doctors are currently on strike due to poor working conditions and a hiring freeze that was announced by the government.