Teachers Vow Not To Return To Work As Schools Reopen Next Week

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has said teachers cannot be expected to return to work when schools reopen next week since they are incapacitated.

In a Twitter post this Wednesday, ARTUZ said:

Schools are scheduled to open next week, Teachers still have outstanding issues with the employer, and Incapacitated Teachers can’t be miraculously expected back in schools. Our leaders are already being surveilled by State Agents but nevertheless, we continue to fight for Trs’ dignity.

Some context:

Teachers have for years been at loggerheads with the government demanding restoration of pre-October 2018 salaries that were around US$540.

They say their current salaries denominated in a fast-depreciating Zimbabwean dollar are not enough to cover their needs.

They are currently being paid an equivalent of about US$48.

The salary is in addition to a USD75.00 COVID-19 Allowance payable in foreign currency and a USD100.00 per month Cushioning Allowance also payable in foreign currency. 

In June this year, the government also announced nonmonetary benefits for teachers. These include:

• Restoration of Advancement awards

• Payment of Performance awards which had been withheld due to financial constraints.

• Payment of school fees for up to 3 biological children per teaching family; This benefit applies to teachers and payment will be made directly to schools and will be up to a prescribed limit per biological child. 

• Provision of 34 000 housing units as institutional accommodation for teachers within and outside school premises over a period of 5 years.

• Provision of transport facilities to ferry teachers in both rural and urban areas has already commenced. 

Meanwhile, teachers say the government is not taking action to implement some of the promises made.

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