Teachers have warned the government that they will not be able to resume their duties when schools open for the third term next month because of incapacitation.
They are demanding salaries to be paid in United States dollars or the equivalent of US$550 at the interbank rate, which translates to ZWL$5 500.
In a statement issued on Monday, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou said:
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Schools will remain closed until (our) demands are met. Let’s prepare for an indefinite closure of schools until our demands are met. Let the schools open while they are closed.
That the government has taken this long before addressing our legitimate demands calls for greater coordination, unity of purpose, a collectivity of action, dexterity, vigilance and resilience.
We cannot be treated as if we are of no account. When we spoke, the government did not listen. It’s now time to act and our actions must speak louder than words.
The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) said that teachers are incapable of returning to their work stations due to runaway prices: ZIMTA president Richard Gundane had this to say:
Teachers are seriously incapacitated as a result of runaway prices in the wake of salaries that are way below the poverty datum line.
The delayed implementation of a cost of living adjustment coupled with a budget that does not give any hope of a living wage will occasion the failure of the majority of teachers not to go to work in the third term.
Meanwhile, Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima told NewsDay that there was no need for teachers to down tools as the government has promised to address their grievances.