Teachers’ unions have warned the government that their members might not be able to resume their duties when schools open for the second term this month-end if their demands are not met.
The teachers want the government to revert to the pre-October 2018 salaries of between US$520 and US$550 or the local currency equivalent as well as personal protective equipment against COVID-19.
The government set 28 June for the opening of the second term, but a sharp rise in coronavirus infections in the past few days poses a threat to the schools’ calendar.
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Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure told NewsDay that if teachers were still incapacitated, there would be no opening of schools on 28 June. He said:
Teachers are still earning a slavery wage and if the government is not working to improve the teachers’ salaries, there will be no opening of schools.
Government announced a date, but we are saying no to teachers going back to school before they are capacitated.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said the government should immediately review the salaries of educators. Said Majongwe:
Government should address the issue of teachers’ salaries. We recently lost a teacher in Karoi due to different challenges with regards to upkeep and well-being.
He said the government could not expect the teachers to go back to school before addressing their wage challenges.