The president of the Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ) Dr Takavafira Zhou has accused the government of gambling with teachers’ welfare and lives.
In a statement published Thursday, Zhou said the announcement by treasury that Zimbabwe had a budget surplus when teachers and other workers were being paid paltry salaries was an insult.
Pindula News present below the statement by Zhou who is also an MDC Alliance official.
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The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube, has recently stated that Zimbabwe has had a $9.8 billion budget surplus. Yet, the PSC has been peddling a budget deficit and urging teachers to be more patient with the government in financial dire straits. Teachers and their families have been too patient for too long a time. We have knocked at every government door, be it parliament, parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Salaries and Conditions of Service for Civil Servants, PSC, and President’s office, but nothing has materialised.
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It is clear the government is gambling with teachers’ welfare and lives. The treatment of teachers in a degrading, discriminatory, dehumanizing and servitude manner is unacceptable, more so at a time when other civil servants with less qualifications and responsibilities are getting a better deal. The call for the restoration of the purchasing power parity of teachers’ salaries is legitimate and must be met by the government as a matter of urgency. The budget surplus must also be used to pay teachers a living wage. The payment of a salary amounting to US$520-US$550 or its equivalence is legitimate in the best interest of quality public education through well trained, supported, and motivated teachers. As Ptuz, we urge the government to address the plight of teachers during this holiday so that the salary impasse would not affect effective learning and teaching next term.
However, should government fail to address teachers’ plight over the holidays, teachers must budget for an escalated incapacitation modus operandi. Teachers are not slaves but workers with rights to fair labour practice and living wage as professionals. Teachers must liberate themselves through unity in action. Our consistent, persistent and unrelenting collective action as professionals will see us through.
Dr Takavafira M. Zhou (Ptuz President)