Striking Zimbabwe teachers have hit out at Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Professor Paul Mavhima who they say is not even aware of how much they are getting in monthly allowances.
The teachers- who have declared incapacitation and have also been on strike since schools reopened last week- made the remarks in the aftermath of Monday’s fruitless roundtable talks with their employer, the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The incapacitated educators have raised concern over the not-more-than US$35 monthly salary they have been getting from their employer since 2018 and expressed shock that Minister Mavhima, was not aware of how much his ministry was giving to the teachers.
“We are still incapacitated and can’t report for work. We were surprised to note that the Public Service Minister Professor Paul Mavhima is not aware of how much a teacher is earning. This is a highest of level of ignorance and incompetence by an incumbent Minister who commands hundreds of thousands of government workers,” partly reads a statement from the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Association of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), one of the unions at yesterday’s meeting.
“The salary negotiation meeting held by teachers Aunions and government yielded nothing positive to the suffering teachers. The Minister of Public Service Professor Paul Mavhima and Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Ambassador Cain Mathema were part of the meeting. As ARTUZ we have clearly stated to the Ministers that the only incentive to take us back to work is the restoration of the USD520 salary,” said ARTUZ.
According to the association, the two Ministers said they do not have the capacity to respond to the teachers’ demands and that they will therefore submit their demands for discussion in today’s meeting.
Nonetheless, the teachers have said they will not return back to work until the PSC bows down to their demands for the restoration of the pre-2018 salaries pegged at USD540.