No Celebrations For Teachers This Labour Day

Statement by the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) president Richard Gundane in commemoration of International Workers Day.

It is MAY DAY. A day that we ordinarily celebrate and chronicle the achievements of the workers. We are supposed to celebrate all the way and to plan ahead as motivated workers of this country, but that phenomenon all relates to the past. It’s a BLACK MAY DAY for us.

Today, this day of 1 MAY 2021, workers who are called, educators, heads of schools and teachers are operating in distress and under duress. The work that they normally do as a calling is no longer fit to be classified as a noble profession.

In education, all personnel and educators are incapacitated to deliver their duties. Public schooling systems and teachers which until recently were admired by the rest of the African continent as a good example of how to deliver quality public education are fast deteriorating into unimaginable stories and things, because the educators who normally superintend and ensure quality learning and teaching exists are longer able to do so.

They are incapacitated and struggle to represent themselves as the epitome of professional educators.
The employer for educators has consistently failed to reward educators adequately.

This May Day we decry the lack of recognition and poor remuneration from our employer. It’s a BLACK DAY. There is nothing to celebrate when educators plead incapacitation year in and year out, and without recourse, we are doomed!

However, we take note of the efforts made by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on education which has provided a listening ear and grasped the fact that educators need to have correct collective bargaining legislation in place if they are to achieve desired results.

Educators demand strong social dialogue processes that work. We need to have our RIGHTS to collective bargaining respected.

We demand to have a restoration of salaries and a requisite road map to achieve the 2018 salary levels. Our sector-specific allowances must be in place today and that way we can guarantee a balance between labour rights and children’s rights to education.

It’s a BLACK DAY. NO CELEBRATIONS for EDUCATORS this labour DAY.

We remain emboldened to continue the struggle.

The Struggle Continues

Richard Gundane
President

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