The Ministry of primary and secondary education and the Public Service Commission (PSC) have been making a litany of policy pronouncements which have resulted in making the conditions of service for teachers very difficult.
At the end of 2015, the government announced that it was deducting 7.5% pension from the salary of every civil servant. This move was clearly ill timed as it was done at a time when the salaries for government workers are still below the poverty datum line.
At the start of the year, the Ministry of primary and secondary education unilaterally scrapped vacation leave for teachers and went on to recall teachers who had gone on leave.
When these policies were announced, the union made attempts to engage the government but the various departments spurned the unionâ€™s attempt to engage them.
The lack of concern by the government is what has pushed the union to take to the streets and push the government to listen to the demands of the teachers. The protest is part of the campaign for the restoration of dignity to the teaching profession which was launched by the January 4 bonus demonstration.
The demonstration will be in form of a march to the Ministry of primary and secondary education offices and the PSC where copies of a petition with union demands will be submitted.
In addition to the issues which a peculiar to teachers, the protest will also register the unionâ€™s displeasure over the US$15 billion which was looted by companies and government representatives in Chiadzwa diamond fields.
Had such a large amount of money been deployed to the education sector then the sector would have been completely transformed. The government thus must account for how such a large sum of money was looted right under their nose.
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