Currently teachers under the auspices of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) have downed tools to force government to award meaningful salaries to teachers. Salary adjustments that have been made by government for teachers and all civil servants, including the army and police fall far below the Poverty Datum Line. The lowest paid teacher is earning $141 million, which in our view as labour, is a mockery to the teaching profession. The education system has been hard hit by teacher exodus. Government has failed to put in place better incentives to retain these necessary skills and this has left our children to suffer. The exodus of teachers spells more disaster for the education system whose standards have already deteriorated. We demand that government puts in place better packages for all civil servants to avert industrial unrests. If press reports that National Railways of Zimbabwe workers are on a go-slow are anything to go by, it certainly is clear that we are headed for tough times. All workers across all sectors need a living wage and if this contentious issue is not addressed, the country will be rocked by more strikes as the year progresses. Business and government continue to exploit workers for their own gains.The ZCTU, therefore, as a matter of urgency, urges government and employers to address the issue of salaries for all workers, civil servants, teachers included, by awarding them PDL linked salaries. If government and employers do not move swiftly to address this matter, the workers are left with no option but to pursue other means of forcing them to address their demands. We demand a living wage for all workers.
Â G. Shoko
ACTING SECRETARY GENERALÂ