Mnangagwa promises to improve working conditions for teachers

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to improve working conditions for teachers and other civil servants, who are among the poorly remunerated workforce in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

Since last year industrial actions by government workers pressing for better working conditions have been the order of the day.

For example, a number of teachers who were set to return to work when examination writing classes of grade 7, Ordinary Level and Advanced Level, reopened on September 28, six months after schools were forced to close following the outbreak of Covid-19, have not set foot on the schools.

The teachers just like all civil servants are demanding better living wages from the cash-strapped government.

Salary negotiations between the government and its employees have not yielded anything positive for the latter so far.

“Government takes note of the legitimate calls for better working conditions by our teachers, health workers and the public service in general,” said President Mnangagwa Thursday during a televised virtual State of the Nation Address (SONA), delivered from State House.

“We will do our best to ameliorate their concerns and improve their plight. Government made a deliberate decision to reopen schools to enable our children who constitute our rich future human resource endowment to conclude the year and progress to the next grades in the coming year. We will redouble our efforts to ensure that syllabi are completed and the examinations proceed smoothly in a safe, secure and stable environment for both teachers and learners.”

President Mnangagwa added that consultations in the tripartite negotiating forum were progressing well with regards to the establishment of an unemployment benefit fund.

“The fund will cover workers in terms of retrenchments and natural disasters which cause work stoppages,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Related to this, I have directed the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to set up a robust labour market information system to facilitate the provision of timeous, reliable labour market information and associated policies.

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