Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President Takavafira Zhou, released a statement, bemoaning the level of neglect in monthly remunerations by the government, as teachers are now classified as the least paid civil servants.
The teachers concern comes after most of the civil servants are receiving a continual upward review of salaries, especially the security sector.
“A major fault line is the issue of serious discrepancies in salaries received by teachers in comparison to other sectors particularly police, soldiers, University Lecturers and top civil servants,” said Zhou.
Furthermore, it has emerged that the security sector and most of the civil servants received a lesser salary to that of teachers dating a year ago, as such the teacher’s union are demanding for government to remunerate them with a livable wage and restore their dignity through fair remuneration.
“We are all aware that at entry point teachers’ salaries were slightly higher than that of police and soldiers and one third of salaries received by University Lecturers. As such, giving teachers $1200 as 50 percent covid 19 allowance, soldiers and police $5000 to $9000, University Lecturers $19000 to $33000, top civil servants $25000 to $40000, baffles logic and common sense. Consequently, teachers received salaries ranging from $3800 to $4500 whereas police and soldiers received salaries ranging from $10 000 to $18000, top civil servants $50000 to $80000 and lecturers would receive salaries ranging from $38 000 to $66 000,” added the statement.
Teachers unions and other workers unions have been allegedly, fingered by the government for pursuing political agendas rather than workers agendas, as such the teachers and the government have not established any meaningful salary negotiations, as teachers have continued to protest.
“Contrary to perception of some malcontents within the teacher trade union movement, this is not pursuit of any political party agenda but rather pursuit of monumental labour justice and a stand against unfair labour practice, callousness, prejudice, narrow-mindedness and political bigotry,” reads the statement.
Despite teacher taking an indefinite break from work due to the COVID-19 lockdown, most of the teachers are said to have ceased discharging their duties as expected before the advent of the COVID-19 lockdown.
“A considerable number of teachers turned to agony, anguish and wailing after receiving the starvation wages. Our view as PTUZ is that there is no need to regret for being a teacher, and teachers must never mentally resign although they physically remain teachers in Zimbabwe. The situation where 99 percent of teachers have mentally resigned although they physically remain as teachers is not enviable for the profession.”
Furthermore, the health sector is in the same predicament as, government nurses and doctors are currently on strike demanding a livable wage from the government. Commenting on the health situation in Zimbabwe a United Kingdom-based health practitioner Sandra Kudenga on Sunday highlighted that the government should fulfil its obligation of the right to health services for all and protection of health workers.
“The Minister of Health and Child Care should make it clear within the health system and publicly that intimidation and victimisation at health services to health workers is unacceptable. The State is responsible for ensuring rights to life and access to health services, and thus the protection of health workers and clients seeking healthcare,” highlighted Kudenga.
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News Correspondent.