Officials from the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) and the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) on Monday called upon the government to raise teachers’ salaries above the poverty datum line (PDL).
The two union leaders were appearing before the joint sitting of the Priscilla Misihairabwi-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education and the Portfolio Committee on Public Service chaired by Emma Ncube to speak on their petition to Parliament.
While making a presentation on behalf of ZIMTA and PTUZ, ZIMTA president Paul Gundani said:
The April 2019 salary adjustments have been overtaken by runaway inflation which was 76%, but now it is around 900% and the State is failing to act constitutionally by adequately remunerating teachers and is thus violating the rights of teachers and students because teaching is no longer a decent job and falls way below standards because the salary is not commensurate with teachers as professionals.
We are saying (give) us poverty datum line salaries.
Gundani demanded that the government should pay teachers salaries with the interbank rates obtaining and at least US$200.
PTUZ secretary-general, Raymond Majongwe bemoaned indiscipline and drug abuse in schools. He said:
There is serious indiscipline at schools and drug abuse and we must be able to control our youths because children are now beating up teachers and this is not a laughing matter.
We do not want to be like South Africa where teachers are now coming to school armed because students do as they please.
Majongwe further claimed that teachers’ poor salaries have resulted in a spike in divorce rates as educators are now being denied conjugal rights because they do not bring anything home.