In a statement on Saturday, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association said to be paid their wages in foreign currency.
Zimta threatened “unforeseen consequences” if their demands are not fulfilled by Government. We publish Zimta’s statement below:
In light of the prevailing economic situation in the country, where service providers are demanding payments in foreign currency, we as teachers in Zimbabwe, being the largest section of the civil servants, hereby demand to be paid our salaries in foreign currency forthwith.
Having observed that we have been hardest hit by the recent monetary pronouncements and measures, we are no longer in a position to meet our daily monetary commitments and are therefore incapacitated.
Given the above, we as the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) are now calling for an immediate cushioning of teachers through payment of salaries in foreign currency. Failure to honour this demand will definitely result in unforeseen consequences from the teaching fraternity.
Our demand is informed by the fact that teachers can no longer afford to pay for daily commuting to work, buy food, rentals, and medical bills as all service providers are demanding payments in foreign currency. Government most be reminded that teachers have already been earning below poverty datum line (PDL) salaries and as such were worse off before and are now incapacitated.
Our current salaries can no longer sustain our mere existence as teachers in Zimbabwe. The current salaries, which are low and distorted, have driven teachers into poverty and incapacitation.
We as ZIMTA, believe that our demand to be paid salaries in foreign currency is justified as any further delays in doing so will destabilise the education sector.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou supported Zimta saying a teacher’s salary in bond is less than US$75. He said paying teachers in bond notes is unfair because the surrogate currency has become worthless. Said Zhou:
Current salaries were negotiated in foreign currency and ‘bondirising’ them is tantamount to unfair labour practice. Bondirisation’ of salaries has greatly eroded teachers’ salaries…prices of available goods are sky-rocketing while the bond is becoming worthless.