The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe has reiterated its call for USD-indexed salaries for teachers, saying the usual 1:3 salary ratio for teachers and lecturers that usually prevailed under the late former President Robert Mugabe’s regime has been discarded.
In a statement to mark the May 1 Workers’ Day commemorations on Friday, PTUZ president Takavafara Zhou said teachers have been pushed into penury and can no longer afford to pay for electricity and water bills, rent, feed families or pay for medical bills and the education of their children. Said Zhou:
We are aware that government is currently pre-occupied with the COVID-19 pandemic effects, yet sound government thrust must be on these key issues: the restoration of teachers’ salaries and purchasing power parity must never be relegated.
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The payment of an average of US$520 that a teacher earned in 2018 or its interbank rate equivalence is long overdue.
Not only has government presided over inordinate price increases, but it has also created unimaginable salary discrepancies that cumulatively have pushed teachers into poverty and penury.
Zhou asserted that it was not fair that university lecturers were earning over $27 000 while teachers earn only $3 000.
He further alleged that that top government employees earn more than 18 times the salary of a teacher.