Teachers` strike inevitable, unions warn govt

...14 day notice of strike lapses this Friday

Think the shutdown is over? Think again as teachers associations say they are embarking on a massive strike next week after rejecting government’s measly allowance offer.

Last Friday government offered civil servants a cushion allowance of 22% which they out-rightly rejected.

In an interview with CITE, Progressive Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe  (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou said the government offer is too low and unrealistic.

“The government increased salaries from 10% to 18% which still falls far short to the inflation in the country,” said Zhou.

“It also does not suffice teachers with adequate purchasing power for basic commodities.”

He said the government should be able to address both monetary and non-monetary issues that teachers are demanding.

“There are a lot of issues that need to be looked at, teachers need to pay for transport , school fees  for their children just as any other parent,” said Zhou.

“Teachers offer services to their students but cannot take their own children to boarding school, at least their own children should be able to go to boarding school”.

He added: “We are also requesting for teacher empowerment, there are no textbooks in schools, this should be up to teachers to write textbooks in order for students to be equipped,”

Zhou stated that the 14 day notice to the government lapses on Friday and failure by government to meet their demands will see the civil servants embark on a full blown strike next week.

“Unless the government comes up with something that satisfies teachers, there will be a full throttle strike next week,” he said.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) chief executive officer, Sifiso Ndlovu said teachers are still incapacitated to provide full services.

“The teacher remains incapacitated as long as sufficient resources are not provided,” said Ndlovu.

He said the future is bleak as teachers still have to stand in long bank queues to access the little money they get from their employer.

“The future is not bright at all, teachers have to queue for $50 which cannot sustain them for more than a day,” said Ndlovu.

“Teachers are willing to teach but they are unable to due to their incapacitation”.

The associations are meeting today to map the way forward.

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