Labour unions representing teachers have threatened to go on strike to force the government to reverse its no-work no-salary policy against their members who are claiming incapacitation.
On Wednesday, seven unions held a meeting in Harare to deliberate on issues affecting the educators and agreed to seek legal counsel to ensure that they are not victimised for not reporting for duty due to incapacitation.
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Zimbabwe National Teachers Union(ZINATU) president Manuel Nyawo told NewsDay on Friday that they will escalate their fight with the government until it addresses their incapacitation. He said:
We have decided to escalate our incapacitation fight. There’s no way we are going to rescind that decision until the employer addresses our grievances.
We don’t care what they will do. If they want to kill us, they can kill, but we will continue to press on with our demands and our adopted decision of no pay, no work.
It’s known that teachers are suffering, but the employer decides to entertain legislators who are earning up to $72 000, but teachers who are earning between $18 000 to $22 000 have to go through such punishment of no work, no salary. What do they want to achieve with that?
The government effected a 25% salary hike on teachers’ salaries this month, which saw the highest-paid teacher earning $22 000, but unions want their pre-October 2018 salaries of between US$520 and US$550 to be restored or to be paid the equivalent in local currency.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), president Takavafira Zhou, said they are considering mobilising to stay away or take the government to court under section 165 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) secretary-general Goodwill Taderera said they were still to consult with their membership on the direction to take.