The president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) Dr Takavafira Zhou has said the 45 per cent to 50 per cent salary increment made by the government falls far short of teachers’ expectations. Pindula News presents Dr Zhou’s statement.
Recent govt offer of 45% falls far short of teachers’ minimum expectations. Fundamentally, the offer was unilateral and not a product of engagement and therefore, one-armed banditry in nature. Nothing was done to address salary discrepancies introduced in June 2020 between teachers and other govt workers. As such, the recent offer of 45% across govt workers has widened the gap between teachers and other govt workers.
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The 45% has taken the lowest-paid teacher from $13300 to $20000 and highest-paid teacher to about $35000 which fall far short of teachers’ expectations. Above all, teachers never asked for a salary increase but restoration of the purchasing power parity of their salaries as of October 2018, viz, US$520-US$550.
As Ptuz, we encourage govt to respect fair labour practice, collective bargaining and engagement with teacher unions, let alone to pay teachers a living wage. It is prudent to urgently address the welfare of teachers, so that when schools open, possibly in September, the main thrust would be on meaningful learning and teaching to prepare pupils for examinations. Incapacitated teachers will certainly not perform a herculean feat that teachers are called upon to perform when schools open. It is our hope that govt would seriously consider this professional advice in order to create a conducive environment to assist pupils in 2021.
Dr Takavafira M. Zhou (Ptuz President)
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