Teachers on Friday rejected a 100% salary increment on their Zimbabwe dollars earnings, up from a 50% hike that had been offered the previous week.
Teachers are reportedly earning at least ZWL$36 000 and a US$120 component, plus a US$75 COVID-19 allowance, but together with the rest of the civil service, are demanding US$840 per month.
The government made the latest offer on Friday during a National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting.
On Thursday the previous week, another NJNC meeting, the first to be held in 2023, had ended in a deadlock.
Speaking to NewsDay, over the weekend, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) secretary-general Goodwill Taderera said the government had offered to pay the salary increment starting next month, but they rejected the arrangement. Said Taderera:
Government reviewed our gross salaries in local currency from 50% to 100% and reconfigured the COVID-19 allowance and the cushion allowance to the amalgamated civil service allowance, which moved from the previously offered US$220 to US$250.
Additionally, there is a teaching allowance of US$80 paid in local currency. This is inflation-adjusted. But we have not yet agreed on any of these figures.
The effective date was given as April 1, 2023, which we rejected and demanded that it be backdated to January.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure told NewsDay that teachers are planning to down tools. He said:
Our power is not in the boardroom, but in collective action by workers. So we are mobilising workers for a massive strike to resume on March 13, 2023, if the government fails to address our demands.
More: Pindula News
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