The government will hold a crunch indaba with teachers’ representatives tomorrow as strike looms.
The largest teachers’ union in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) has indicated that its members will not report for duty on Tuesday when schools open for 2019.
In a statement released on Friday last week, Acting Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, July Moyo said:
Following the commitment made towards the close of 2018, Government has scheduled a meeting with all registered public service staff association on 7th January at 1000hrs at NSSA building on the 11th-floor boardroom in Harare.
This meeting is part of the commitment of Government to engage all its employees in pursuit of developing common positions in relation to the improvement of employee salaries and generally resolve any matters that impact their conditions of service.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president, Dr Takavafira Zhou said they bring a number of demands to the table for the negotiations:
We are saying to the Government our salaries should have the purchasing power that it had when we had an agreement in 2012.
The last time we negotiated was in 2012 and our salaries were pegged in United States Dollars, however, there are now in bond notes and it is no secret that we have a three-tier price system where prices are in USD while those that are in bond notes have gone up drastically.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) Secretary General, Mr Tapson Sibanda reiterated the union’s position that it demands to be paid in US dollars. The Union vowed to go ahead with the strike. Said Sibanda:
Obviously, the salaries issue is the major one and we want salaries that are in tandem with the current economic situation.
We want the Government to give us our salaries in United States dollars or a salary increase if we are to be paid in bond notes.
We are going to attend the meeting with Government on Monday, and we will hear what Government would have said, however, we have decided that we will not report to work on Tuesday.