Friday, 9 November 2018

TEACHERS MARCH IS ON

Teachers protesting against deteriorating conditions of service have been given the green light by police to picket at Public Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas) and government offices in Harare.

In a letter dated November 1 to Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) who are organisers of the march, the police in Harare Central District allowed the teachers to convene at Africa Unity Square before a small number marches to petition Psmas and Finance minister Mthuli Ncube as well as his Public Service counterpart Sekai Nzenza.

“You shall convene at Africa Unity Square where from you shall march in a small number of at least 10 people to Psmas through George Silundika into Fourth Street to Mkwati Building via Central Avenue,” the letter reads in part.

While the letter limits the number of marchers to just 10, PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe told the Daily News that there was miscommunication as police had agreed to allow 200 people to march.


“The march is on today and we told them we will have more than 200 marchers and only 10 will get into the offices to hand over the petition,” Majongwe said.

He also revealed that PTUZ had been charged $450 by the police for the application and an escort.
The Apex Council — the body that represents all civil servants in salary negotiations — however refused to act in solidarity with PTUZ saying civil servants wanted to give dialogue a chance.
Majongwe, however, slammed the council for selling out the teachers’ struggle for two pieces of silver.

“We are dealing with a bunch of sell-outs who will do anything for their personal aggrandisement and that is why they are now talking about dialogue with the employer.

“What dialogue are they talking about? Where is that dialogue taking place and with who? These are sell-outs who are dining and winning with the employer at the expense of teachers.

“They want to portray our march as a strike but it’s silly. How do we strike on a Friday afternoon? It is merely a march to register our displeasure, to send a message to government,” he said.
The PTUZ action has been backed by their counterparts stationed at the country’s rural schools; the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz).

This comes after Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima recently told hundreds of primary school heads in Victoria Falls that government has no capacity to meet the teachers’ pay increment demands presently.

This did not go down well with teachers’ unions that felt the minister had jumped the gun as teachers are not employed by his ministry but the Public Service Commission.

Government has since invited civil service unions for a meeting on Wednesday.
The country’s educators and other government employees have been demanding that the employer pays their salaries in US$ amid concerns that their earnings have been eroded to worthless levels owing to the plummeting value of bond notes, a surrogate currency introduced by government in 2016.

The teachers also want their employer to review their salaries upwards to above the poverty datum line they estimate is now over $800. Daily News

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