Strike continues ahead of fresh wage talks

The nationwide strike by Zimbabwe’s civil servants continued on Monday, ahead of fresh salary negotiations set to take place on Tuesday.

Takavafira Zhou
Takavafira Zhou

The public sectors workers downed tools last week over the ongoing refusal by the government to increase their monthly wages, which currently sits at about US$250. The workers want a minimum monthly salary of US$538, but the talks broke down last Wednesday when just a seven dollar a month increase was offered.

The workers, represented by their unions will once again meet for talks on Tuesday, where it is hoped a more reasonable offer will be made to end the industrial action.

Takavafira Zhou, President of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) told SW Radio Africa on Monday that so far, the government has proved ‘insincere’ in not offering more money.

“Politicians are all earning money. There are diamonds and gold being discovered and yet we are offered what can only be described as an insult and highest level of madness,” Zhou said.

He added: “I think the essence of all of this is that the government is not putting education first.”

The PTUZ leader insists that the strike has mainly been damaging for the education sector because the majority of teachers on the government pay roll have joined the strike. The action was meant to encompass all sectors of the public service, but Zhou explained that many workers have not “heeded the call.”

“Some workers are making money in government departments that are corrupt. The people who are suffering, like teachers, are the ones who have joined the strike,” Zhou said. SW Radio Africa

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