The Federations of the Zimbabwe Educators Union (FZEU) has today petitioned government expressing discontent over poor salaries and allowances among a cocktail of grievances they want addressed failure of which they threatened to down tools when schools open for the second term in May.
By Costa Nkomo
FZEU, made up of Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), Zimbabwe National Teachers Union (ZNTU), Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) and Professional Education Union of Zimbabwe (PEUZ) expressed concern over poor working conditions and low salaries which they say have been worsened by the current cash crisis.
“Teachers have not had a salary increment since 2013 yet the cost of living has risen by up to 100%. This has been exacerbated by the cash crisis and three tier pricing system. Thus teachers demand an immediate 100% salary increase so that they get remuneration above the poverty datum line (PDL) currently pegged at US$534.00,” noted teachers in a petition submitted to Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi’s office today.
Teachers also raised red flag over security of teachers during elections alleging that some members of the army had been deployed in rural areas to instil fear to rural voters.
“Teachers demand that the government guarantee the safety of teachers and learners before, during and after the 2018 harmonised elections by ensuring that all political party activities are banned from school premises,” added the federation.
PTUZ President, Dr Takavafira Zhou added that teachers’ security has become a huge concern looking at the new set up in government that puts teachers under the office of the president and cabinet.
He called on government to urgently restore vacation leave for teachers which was cancelled in 2016 without consulting teachers’ representative and their respective affiliations.
ARTUZ President, Obert Masaraure, decried the paltry US$13.00 rural allowance being given to teachers each month.
“We have teachers who live at the risk of being attacked by animals when they have to go to banks. We have teachers who are out there in rural areas, giving their all because they believe that the right to education is important for all. Yet the government lack sincerity to address their issues, so we are here today to send a clear message on what we want as teachers,” said Masaraure.