Rural teachers press ahead with strike

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has directed its members to commence an indefinite sit-in job action until the government addresses their demands.

This comes after the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) suspended their strike on Sunday to pave way for more talks with the government.

ARTUZ national secretary general Robson Jere said they are embarking on a sit-in labour action in preparation for a full-blown strike to be announced soon.

“In the meantime, we have resolved that all our members report for work in their respective schools but they will not be conducting any lessons,” said Jere.

“The decision to let our member teachers go back to their working spaces was done to protect them from the security threats.”

He added that the ARTUZ would not suspend its strike action until the government takes relevant and tangible steps in fulfilling their demands.

Jere said that the ARTUZ members are in the process of signing a job action notice, which will be handed over to the government.

“We are targeting a total of 50 000 teachers to sign the notice. The signing will be done both online and physically.”

He said that a teachers` driven industrial action will commence 14 days after handing over the notice as supported by the law.

The teachers want the government to pay their salaries in United States dollars or an equivalent of $1 700 for the lowest paid worker.

Jere said the suspension of the strike by PTUZ and Zimta betrayed their struggle for better wages.

“ZIMTA and PTUZ ‘s decision to call off the strike compromised our agenda to fight for better wages,” said Jere

“They betrayed us by giving us false hope but our fight cannot be stopped by people with selfish interests. It will be foolish of us to give up on the struggle now.”

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