The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe has released the following statement detailing the incapacitation being faced by teachers despite the recent salary hike.
Read the full statement below:
We said it in February that teachers did not need a salary increase but restoration of their purchasing power parity. Those who thought Ptuz was radical need to look at basics. When teachers got that so called salary increase in February a standard pocket of potatoes was $80 cash. It’s now $200 or more; 1 litre milk was $15, and it’s now $27, bread was $17, it’s now $24. The salary of teachers is being eroded against US$ with US$10 now trading at $400. Rentals are now charged in US$ with a single small room costing between US$30 and US$50; fuel has virtually dried except at garages selling in US$ and 1 litre cost US$1.25. The economy has fast dollarised, never mind the official daylight denials.
We reiterate our long held view that teachers do not need a salary increase or cushion but restoration of the US$520 salary or its equivalent in terms of inter-bank rate. Any other claim is ludicrous lunacy that must be never intertained by trade union leaders worthy their salt. The more things appear to change in Zimbabwe, the more they remain the same.
Yes, the government and Apex talked of continued negotiations after the increase. But have you ever heard of any further negotiations after Victoria Falls meeting? Virtually Nothing. Govt has gone to sleep once again and Apex is deep in its slumber. We call upon teacher-trade union leaders to smell the coffee and seriously interrogate the plight of teachers. We also call upon Apex to rise to the occasion and show workers fruits of further negotiations that you alluded to from the Victoria Falls meeting.
The cause of workers cannot be surrendered even under difficult conditions. Extra ordinary times call for extra ordinary actions and extra ordinary solutions. Teachers are their own liberators.
Dr Takavafira M. Zhou (Ptuz President)