The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) says that its members are on strike starting on Monday 22 July 2019.
The teachers are not happy with the “paltry” one-off cushioning allowance that was awarded to civil servants by the government this month. In a statement, ARTUZ said:
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Our revolutionary membership has made us proud by boldly going home for an early holiday. Only 12% of our members remain in the classrooms winding up the second term as they prepare to join their colleagues shortly.
Teachers from other Unions are joining in and the protest is indeed turning out to be a national protest.
We are angered by the paltry once-off cushion which was offered by government and is still to be disbursed at a time when prices of fuel have been hiked twice.
We feel cheated by our employer who has slashed our salaries from over $US 400 to $US30. We can no longer afford the basics, we have been robbed of our dignity.
The early holiday will enable teachers to engage in other income-generating projects to cushion themselves from the economic hardships confronting us.
Government is reneging on its constitutional obligation of providing decent education by failing to pay the teachers. We once again implore the government to restore the value of our salaries or we will not open schools for the third term.
We recommit ourselves to delivering quality education to our learners but we deserve to be paid a living wage.
The evidence of corruption unearthed by the Auditor General and parliament recently agitates us to confront our employer. It is now crystal clear that our nation can pay us but the ruling elites are selfishly squandering the national cake.
The government’s failure to adhere to the rule of law and respect Citizens’ rights keeps us isolated from the rest of the world.
The austerity strategy which failed us during the ESAP era is once again failing us. The government should dump austerity as a matter of urgency.
We remain open to a genuine dialogue aimed at resolving the salary crisis.