The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has rejected a 100% pay rise saying it’s not good enough.

“We reject this offer by the employer on two levels:

“1) it’s not a productive of genuine collective bargaining as envisaged by section 206 (1)(b) read along with section 65 of the Constitution which disallow the employer from unilaterally changing conditions of service.

“B. If calculated to US terms the quantum of the increment remains below 400 dollars which is less than a third of the basket of needs and therefore trs remain poor and incapacitated. We will not report for work until we get our USD 1260,” says the teachers body.

Apparently, below is the government offer which is being rejected by the teachers:

According to a letter dated 16 March 2023, addressed to the chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC) by Finance ministry permanent secretary George Guvamatanga, COVID-19 allowances for civil servants have also been increased from US$200 to $250 across sectors excluding the health sector.

Part of the letter reads:

Reference is made to Treasury minutes A/26/1/8/1 dated 7 March 2023 and 13 March 2023 on the above subject matter.

The purpose of this minute is to provide guidance on the framework for the 2023 compensation review, together with strategies for addressing wage inequalities brought about by prior sector-specific policy decisions.

The approved framework for remuneration reviews takes into account the requirement to continuously enhance the general welfare of public employees while attempting to stay within the budget and respecting the general rule of maintaining wage bills at sustainable levels so as not to compete with other expenditures.

The approved review is as follows and is in accordance with earlier discussions and agreement with the Principals:

100% remuneration review to gross ZWL emoluments from Deputy Director and below for all sectors:

Reviewing Cushioning and Covid Allowances from US$200 to US$250 across all sectors, excluding health sector
Reviewing Cushioning and Covid Allowance for Government Pensioners from US$90 to US$100

Payment of US$80 teaching allowance to every teacher per month.

This is an improvement to the school fees policy which discriminated against those teachers with no biological children.

Free Primary school education up to a maximum of 3 children at government schools within the radius and
Introducing a government-funded funeral insurance framework.

The approved review of 100% remuneration to gross ZWL emoluments from Deputy Director and below for all sectors, takes effect on February 1st, 2023 for the Security Sector and April 1st, 2023 for the Rest of the Civil Service.

Furthermore, the increase in Cushioning and Covid Allowances from US$200 to US$250 across all sectors, with the exception of the health sector, takes effect on March 1, 2023 for the Security Sector and April 1, 2023 for the Rest of the Civil Service, taking into account March 2023 developments in the security sector.

In accordance with the approval of 100% remuneration review to gross ZWLS emoluments from Deputy Director and below, the salary key scale for the lowest paid worker for the security sector is therefore expected to be 100% of the gross ZWLS emoluments as per the attached schedule annexure 1 for selected grades as of 1 February 2023.

In that regard, the Salary key scale and wage bill should reflect the approved review as illustrated in the attached example for the positions of the lowest paid to Deputy Director equivalent levels across all sectors including Security Sector.

Given that the effective date is February 2023, it is critical to note that the March bills for the security sector included the February back pay for the gross ZWL emoluments from Deputy Director equivalent grades and below.

Furthermore, to avoid similar occurrences in the future, the Salary Service Bureau should implement salary reviews after the requisite salary key scales have been validated by Treasury.

Accordingly, Treasury awaits submission of the salary key scales for respective sectors for approval.