FULL TEXT: Confusion As Rural Teachers Reject Salary Increment

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has rejected the salary increment offer by the government which the Apex Council has since agreed to.

ARTUZ says that the salary is still insignificant and cannot capacitate teachers to execute their duties and responsibilities.

As per the new deal, the lowest-paid government employee receiving $2500 a month and the highest-earning $4 631 from $1 885 with effect from next month.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), the country’s largest teachers’ body has accepted the increment.

We present ARTUZ’s statement in full below.

As Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) we reject an agreement reached by the Apex Council to accept a salary increment offered by Government, while alleged negotiations for a better package continue as a said compromise for “the sake of civil servants who are in a desperate situation”.

We believe Apex council has sold out on the workers it purport to represent. As ARTUZ we are demanding a salary in US$ indexed to the interbank rate. Our salaries should be in tandem with the changing economic environment. What has been agreed is a far cry from our demands.

Our members, mostly based in rural areas are heavily incapacitated go to work. We have received unfortunate reports of harassment of our incapacitated members that are failing to report for duty, this is unwelcome, and we are taking legal measures to stop that insanity. The government must stop victimizing incapacitated teachers.

As ARTUZ we are resolute that our members deserve better salaries that are commensurate with their labour. We will not go back on our demand for a US$ indexed salary to the interbank rate.

Cecilia Alexander of Apex Council said there had been progress in their negotiations as the Government had agreed to backdate the salaries to January 1 as opposed to effecting the increase from February 1. This is not what we want.

To save our country from the current economic malaise, we urge the government to urgently restore the purchasing power parity of civil servants to stimulate productivity.

The genocide in the education sector was brought by the underpayment of teachers. Destroying our education staggers the developmental plans of our nation. It is imperative that we urgently reverse the erosion of our education system.

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