Almost all teachers’ unions have declared that their members will today go on strike demanding a pay rise. The Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) said its members have been on strike since schools opened for the new term in January.
The two biggest teachers’ unions in the country, Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) and the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) announced on Thursday that they will commence an industrial action on February 5 (today).
In a press statement on Monday, PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said:
All teacher unions are embarking on strike starting tomorrow [today], minus Zinatu. We have received reports of intimidation by Zanu PF and some [Central Intelligence Organisation operatives] CIOs. We have people who are going to schools telling our teachers that if they don’t report for duty, they will be fired. But we are happy that the resolve among our people is very high.
Nine teachers’ unions, which fall under the Federation of Zimbabwe Educators’ Union — PTUZ, Zimta, Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union, Zimbabwe Democratic Teachers’ Union and Professional Educators’ Union of Zimbabwe are now on strike. We have been joined by Zimbabwe Rural Teachers’ Union and others.
Only one teachers’ union, the Zimbabwe National Teachers’ Union (ZINATU) has not indicated its intention to join the strike.
The strike comes after talks between the government and teachers’ union broke down after the former had indicated that it will not raise its 10 per cent wage rise payable from April onwards.