Teachers reject 40% salary increase, say they will not resume classes

Teachers reject 40% salary increase say they will not resume classes

Striking teachers have rejected a 40 percent salary increase offered by Cabinet yesterday.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said the increase falls short of prevailing conditions.

The union said teachers are unmoved on their call for restoration of the purchasing power parity of educators’ salaries to pre-October 2018 levels of US$520.

“The increase is procedural defective and grossly insufficient in quantum,” PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said.

“Salaries and conditions of service are subject to bargaining between the employer and workers and not a product of one armed banditry employer machinations. Government’s attempts to render unions useless must be rejected in toto,” he added.

“As PTUZ and part of the United Front of Teacher Unions, we reiterate our readiness for meaningful dialogue with the Government. The only issue that may not need dialogue is the restoration of the purchasing power parity of teachers’ salaries to pre-October 2018 levels of US$520-US$550.”

Cabinet on Tuesday said in tandem with its obligations to pay a decent wage, Government had reviewed upwards the salary increase offer to Civil Servants to 40 percent which will be awarded to Deputy Director grade and below.

In addition to the salary increase, the teachers will also be awarded a 10 percent risk allowance.

“The new  basic salary package for the teacher is now ZW$18 237, which is above the Poverty Datum Line (PDL),” Cabinet said.

“This means that the  compounded review percentage of the teacher grade salary is 1 284% since the beginning of the year.”

The lowest paid civil servant will receive a salary of ZW$14 528.  This is effective from 1st November 2020.

However, PTUZ said insisted that the 40 percent salary increase cannot ameliorate the quandary that teachers face in meeting their obligations.

The Government is also silent on prioritisation of health and safety of teachers and pupils, more so given cases of covid 19 in schools,” Zhou said.

“In light of the foregoing the best foot forward for incapacitated teachers remains the incapacitation modus operandi until we are capacitated.”

PTUZ said they were urging parents to keep their children in the safety of their homes insisting that Government should engage leaders of teacher unions in order to find a lasting solution to the current impasse in schools.

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