Teachers demand US dollar bonuses

The country’s poorly paid teachers are now demanding that the government pays them their bonuses in the United States dollars and have also pressed to be paid invigilation fees by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) among a cocktail of other demands.

Traditionally the government pays bonuses to civil servants in the month of November.

The teachers’ fresh demands come at a time when public examinations are set to begin later this month.

Citing incapacitation, teachers argue that their demands are the only way out of sinking deeper and crushing into poverty and dysfunctionality.

In a statement Monday, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) urged the government to comply with their demands for failure to which an unspecified action would be taken.

“The ZIMTA-Ehlekweni Vocational Training Institute Declaration of 06 November 2021, resolved that the employer must pay the 2021 bonuses for educators in full this November to cushion educators against inflation induced income losses,” said the association.

“In the same declaration, the educators are demanding that the government puts in place a facility that enables teachers to access the weekly USD$ 50 from their individual Nostro accounts. This has been necessitated by the failure of the majority to access their weekly forex allocations availed to them via local banks and Bureau de changes by RBZ.”

That move, the teachers said, would enable educators to access part of their salaries in USD and eventually solve a longstanding grievance from the teachers.

“Starting this November 2021, teachers want invigilation of examinations to be paid for by ZIMSEC, as this is the only way to guarantee the quality of examinations while motivating the teachers and introducing equity in the treatment of all those who manage examinations,” said ZIMTA.

“Evidence at hand has proved that ZIMSEC has the capacity to pay for invigilation of exams by Teachers. Teachers have also demanded that the employer ought to pay for all their specific sector allowances with effect from December 2021. Finally, and most importantly, the declaration stated that the salary for a Grade D level Teacher of USD$540 has to be honoured by November 2021 at the latest.”

The association further urged their employer that failure to meet those demands from the educators, within the above specified time frames may lead into disruptions of activities within schools, compromising the quality and equal access to education for learners, disturbing examination invigilation and ultimately the failure of moderation and capture of Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) results.

“In the 6 November ZIMTA – Ehlekweni   Declaration Statement, the Teachers declared that unspecified actions emanating from teacher disgruntlement were likely to occur should their demands be ignored,” added ZIMTA.

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