Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima said it’s a lie that teachers are incapacitated to report for work as the Government has effected over 90 per cent salary increment since the beginning of the year.
This follows revelations that just over 30 per cent of teachers were yet to report for duty last Friday, with unions saying their members do not have money for bus fare to travel to their workplaces.
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Schools reopened for examination classes on 30 September and for non-examination classes on 6 September amid reports that some teachers did not report for duty.
But speaking to The Sunday Mail on Thursday, Mavima said teachers facing personal financial challenges should take advantage of the Government Employees Mutual Savings (GEMS) loan facility. He said:
I don’t agree with the assertion that teachers are incapacitated because in our last increment the representatives of the workers endorsed the offer saying it more or less reflected their expectations.
We have adjusted salaries by over 90 per cent since the beginning of the year and I think this amount shows our desire to improve the conditions of the workers.
He also said the Government will convene a National Joint Negotiating Forum (NJNC) conference in the last quarter of the year to review salaries.
The Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions secretary-general David Dzatsunga said civil servants are expecting to meet Government to discuss remuneration issues by the end of this month or early October.
Teachers are demanding that government reverts to the pre-October 2018 salaries of between US$520 and US$550 or the equivalent in local currency.