The leaders of the AMALGAMATED Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) are preparing a lawsuit against the government after going for three months without receiving their salaries.
They last received their salaries in mid-January earlier this year and since then the Public Service Commission withheld their salaries following the January protests.
The Artuz president Obert Masaraure, secretary-general Robson Chere and the union’s Mashonaland West chairperson Munyaradzi Ndawana were arrested for taking part in the protest and they have not reported for duty since they were in detention. PSC, therefore, withheld their salaries on the basis of absenteeism.
Masaraure also explained how families of the union leaders have dealt with hard times because of no salaries.
“The families of these teachers are failing to access basic goods such as food, clothes, shelter and transport to work, among others, like healthcare and paying school fees for their children. Actually, when schools open next term, their children will not be able to go there because of financial constraints deliberately brought by the employer,” he said.
“If a teacher, who is earning a salary, can fail to meet basic living expenses, what about one who is going to work, but not being paid for about three months?”
Masaraure revealed that efforts to engage the employer amicably had failed, hence the move to go to court.
“We have been pursuing dialogue with the employer to resolve the impasse, but nothing is coming out. That is why we have engaged our lawyer to take legal action,” he said.