Teachers have expressed dismay at the $400 million cost of living adjustment for civil servants offered by the government, citing that it falls far short of the amount needed to sustain their families.
The package will see the least-paid employee taking home RTGS$600.
However, the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) dismissed the offer saying the figure is below the poverty datum line.
“It is a clear betrayal because what they are offering us is below the Poverty Datum Line,” said PTUZ president Dr Takavafira Zhou.
“We expected that the government is going to pay us in US dollars because the current salary increment is outpaced by the inflation which is at its high of 290%.
“The offer does not restore our purchasing power, we want something better than this considering that the prices of basic commodities are too high, fuel is also not affordable.”
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said they are happy that the government finally listened to their grievances, however, the amount is inadequate.
“Our demands were clear from the onset, we want a minimum of RTGS$1 700 or the equivalent in US dollars for the least paid employee,” said Ndlovu.
The two unions also accused the APEX council of working against the interests
of civil servants.
Zhou and Ndlovu said that their representative betrayed them by agreeing to the deal which did not adhere to the non -monetary issues raised by the teachers.
“The Apex Council is an outdated public service association that lack the basic attributes of union leaders,” said Ndlovu.
Zhou concurred with the ZIMTA boss revealing that as teachers they have decided to form a new umbrella body that is going to engage their employer on their behalf.
“The body will comprise of educators that can directly negotiate with the government on working conditions instead of relying on the Apex Council that has people who have no idea on what happens in the classrooms,” Zhou said.
“The proposed union will be known as The Federation of Zimbabwe Educators’ Unions (FOZEU) and it would be following the other unions that broke away from the Apex council such as the nurse’s associations.”