Zimbabwean teachers- most of whom have defiantly continued to defy Government threats of salary cessation by downing their tools despite schools opening for examination classes on 28 September, have warned that the imminent second phase commencement of non-writing classes will trigger more chaos at the learning institutions, with increased learner volumes.
In similarly the same manner as the incapacitated teachers who have declared incapacitation due to low salaries and poor working conditions, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Government has hardly reneged on its pursuit to ensure that schools reopen for Term 3 in phased format.
Schools are expected to open for Phase 2 next Monday.
Despite this, the country’s educators who earn not-more-than US$35 per month, are apparently determined to stay home as they demand the restoration of their pre-2018 US$540 monthly salaries. The teachers also argue that the country’s schools are currently ill-equipped to guarantee the safety of both the students and themselves, from Covid19 vulnerability.
“On 28 September, we launched our fight for the restoration of the value of our salaries. Teachers have sent a bold message to the Government: No USD salaries, No work! Government responded with threats, propaganda, a funeral assistance package and a salary clarification message. Teachers remain incapacitated ahead of 26 October earmarked for Phase 2 opening,” the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) said Thursday this week.
Said ARTUZ pertaining to the widely-criticized cost of living allowance (COLA), recently offered to a few teachers who have defied calls for industrial action:
“The Government adjusted salaries with 40% teachers now earning ZWL 4 500, (which is USD 45 excluding the Covid19 allowance. Monthly budget for a low income earning family is pegged at over ZWL 20 000 by the (Consumer Council of Zimbabwe). Monthly regional average (teacher) salary is set at US$680. Cost of living in (the country) is 44% higher than in South Africa. Teachers are living in poverty and remain incapacitated.