Friday, 10 June 2016


THERE is need to review the current framework on vacation leave for teachers as it tends to give them an unfair advantage over other civil servants, since they have three months holiday per year coupled with a three month leave entitlement after seven years, Senate heard yesterday.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Tapiwa Matangaidze said while Government agrees that teachers are entitled to leave, there is need to rationalise the framework.

He was responding to a barrage of questions from several Senators on whether Government would review the leave framework for educators considering that the Labour Court ruled that the State could not unilaterally revoke that right.

Manicaland Senator David Chimhini (MDC-T) wanted to know what the way forward was, considering the ruling by the Labour Court.
“We are bound by the court’s ruling. But the point is there is a good case to argue that the leave days for teachers is excessive and unsustainable.

“There is need for framework to rationalise the leave days. What we have here is a department in Government which is seasonal just like tobacco industry. There is a season when teaching does not occur like January, August and December,” said Deputy Minister Matangaidze.

Harare metropolitan Senator Theresa Makoni (MDC-T) asked why Government wanted to vary conditions that had been in existence since colonial times and after independence.
Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Paul Mavima weighed in saying there is need to do things efficiently and effectively.

He said the fact that the practice had been there before independence did not make it right.
Responding to another question, Deputy Minister Matangaidze said Government had three months’ supply of food for the vulnerable.

He said more food was expected both for the vulnerable and to help under the food for work programme.

“We are currently sitting on enough stock. We have three months’ supply and more is expected,” said Deputy Minister Matangaidze.

He said there had been an increase in the elderly and people living with disabilities who required food owing to drought.


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