There growing division among teachers’ unions after the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) allegedly met President Emmerson Mnangagwa and agreed on a US$320 minimum wage.
Other unions including the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) are accusing the union of selling out.
This comes as teachers who are demanding the restoration of their 2018 salaries which were around US$500 have refused to return to work when schools reopened on 28 September.
Responding to allegations of selling out, ZIMTA said it was committed to champion teachers’ cause accusing PTUZ and ARTUZ of being political. Said ZIMTA in a statement:
As bona fide members would know, ours is a professional union for professional teachers whose main aim is teaching not politics or gambling or smear campaigns.
Zimta is a legend in the game of trade unionism. Not only do we lead in terms of membership, but our ideas and strategies have kept trade unionism alive for the past 80 years in Zimbabwe.
Negotiations on teachers’ salaries held before failed to come up with a sustainable solution to the crisis.
Meanwhile, the absence of teachers in most government schools has prompted some stakeholders to demand of premature closure of schools after videos and pictures of learners engaging in immoral parties, smoking and sexual activities flooded social media.