It’s business as usual in schools

By Innocent Mujeri

….as teachers ignores calls for stay away

It was business as usual at most Harare schools as teachers largely ignored calls for a stay away by their representatives, opting for completion of salary negotiations between government and the Apex Council, Harare Posts reports.

There were calls by teacher representative bodies such as Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA), Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) and anti-government outfit Tajamuka, for teachers to down tools until government index their salaries to the prevailing interbank rate.

The call was ignored by teachers as most of them reported for duty at their various stations.

A teacher at Widdecombe Primary School in Hatfield, who preferred anonymity, said they ignored the call for a stay away as they wanted to give dialogue a chance.

“The salary negotiations are still ongoing, hence we have decided to attend classes while we await the completion of negotiations,” said the teacher.

Another teacher at Mt Pleasant High School said it was brainless for teachers to embark on a strike when government was making visible efforts to improve their salaries.

“The Minister of Finance announced that we will be given a cushion allowance this month and we are still waiting for that. There is no reason for us to embark on a stay away because government is addressing the salary challenges,” he said.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube recently announced that Government was seized with addressing salaries for civil servants and the issue will be solved in a few weeks’ time. The Government last week offered civil servants an almost 100 percent pay rise in a move that will result in the least-paid worker taking home $2 033 up from $1 023 per month.

Civil servants will each get between $400 and $800, depending on grades.