Friday, 27 April 2018


THE Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) yesterday resolved that its members will go on strike when schools open on May 8 to force for a salary review and reinstatement of vacation leave.

The decision followed a day-long debate as members who were attending the Zimta 37th annual national conference here were divided on whether to adopt the idea pushed for by unregistered Federation of Zimbabwe Educators’ Union (Fozeu).

Zimta, with a membership of 43 000, will mobilise other teachers’ unions to join the strike.
According to a declaration on the collective job action which was passed as a resolution at the close of the three-day conference, teachers claim that their rights to fair and safe labour practices and standards and reasonable wages, as well as just, equitable and satisfactory conditions of work enshrined in Section 65 of the country’s Constitution have been violated.
They argue that they are entitled to a right to collective job action in terms of Section 65 (3) of the Constitution.

“And whereas the employer has not allowed any salary increment and upward adjustment of allowances since the agreement in 2013, and whereas the employer has not lifted the suspension of vacation leave effected in 2016.

“Therefore the 37th annual national conference of Zimta does hereby declare that schools will not open for the second term. For the avoidance of doubt, our members will be on strike and will withdraw their labour effective the 8th May 2018 until the issues raised herein above are resolved,” read the resolution.

In an interview later, Zimta president Mr Richard Gundane said the decision is final and will spread to other teachers’ unions.
“As leadership we have received the declaration and signed it. There was a long debate and the resolution came in the form of a declaration. The declaration is open and what is important is achieving what has been resolved,” said Mr Gundane.

According to Mr Gundane, teachers’ salaries and allowances have remained static since 2013 while they have not been allowed to go on vacation leave since 2016, making their conditions of service unbearable.

He highlighted that members agreed that there was a need for unity of purpose to attain freedom of association and right to collective bargaining hence the need for a collective bargaining council.

Mr Gundane said teachers were failing to afford decent lives hence the strike will cut across all other unions.

“We have always organised for other non-members because we speak for them. Teachers can’t afford a lot of things. We have over the years lived with the principle of Poverty Datum Line since the agreement of 2013 but a lot of factors have come in.

“Salaries and allowances that teachers are getting are making it impossible for the teachers to live as human beings.

“ Teachers are also not allowed to rest yet regulations are clear that vacation leave is a right,” said Mr Gundane.

He said learners will not be affected as teachers know how to compensate for lost time. Chronicle 


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