ZwNews Chief Correspondent

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has expressed anger and dismay over the recent measures that were taken by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya, which they claim are meant to steal their money.

This came after the monetary authorities made announcements that there is going to be separate accounts for both Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs) respectively.

In his presentation Mangudya said the separation of the two accounts is meant to ring fence hard currency investors, that is it will not be turned into the local bond currency, thereby boosting their confidence that their foreign currency is safe.

In a statement just released, ARTUZ says it has been irked by the directives to separate RTGS accounts from FCAs, and the 2 percent tax charged on every dollar on electronic transfers as this increase pressure on the currently burdened workers.

The rural teachers’ body says it is unfair that the salary increments which was a result of protracted negotiations on US$ terms would now be eroded once turned into bond currency through RTGS.

“The new policy directive would see teachers earning RTGS terms in violation of the agreement.

“Against this backdrop, we are going to reject the RTGS salaries,” says ARTUZ.

The teachers’ body maintains that it is expecting the pay to come in the agreed currency, until fresh negotiations are conducted.

ARTUZ says even the pension contributions, that was being done since 2015, will also evaporate as a result of this directive.

The teachers allege that it was bad for the government to charge the 2 per cent on every dollar spent through electronic payments, saying it is a calculated move by the state which fully knows that most payments are made this way owing to the liquidity constraints in the market.

ARTUZ says this is clear theft of people’s wages, and savings and calls for urgent meeting of like unions to chat way forward on how best to protect the working class.

Meanwhile, the government has a tag of war history with the teachers. In most cases the loggerheads were based on the alleged fact that whenever there are some increments, the teachers are always last in the priority list. The government has the tendency of paying the security sector first, then come those under the ministry of health, nurses and doctors, and finally the teachers.

In most cases this has angered the teachers, as they feel being labeled inferior to other civil servants. Be that as it may, the recent increment for teachers came in 2013, after long-drawn-out negotiations.