Monday, 12 October 2020

TEACHERS PIN HOPES ON ED : WILL HE END STRIKE?

CONCERNS raised by teachers’ representatives will soon be tabled before Cabinet, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima has said.

The teachers’ representatives are waiting for feedback from their employer following the meeting they held in Harare last week Monday to find a common ground as teachers have declared incapacitation.

As part of solving the teacher-employer deadlock, a report from last week’s meeting between the teachers’ representatives and two Cabinet Ministers will be taken to President Mnangagwa first before it is tabled before the Cabinet to show how serious the Government is in addressing all the concerns raised by the teachers.

Two Cabinet ministers, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema and Professor Mavima met teachers’ unions. Government called for the meeting to address educators’ welfare.

Two weeks ago, the Treasury paid a 40 percent cost of living salary increase to cushion civil servants while waiting for the completion of negotiations over pay and other employment terms.

In an interview yesterday, Prof Mavima said he was happy with the way the meeting had gone. As part of the way forward from the meeting, he said the teachers’ concerns will be presented to his Principal (The President) before being tabled to Cabinet soon.

“The meeting we held last week was not just about salaries for the employees, but the meeting was basically, one, to express Government commitment for an amicable resolution. Two, to get their own concerns and full expression of their situation. As far as those two are concerned, it went on very well. What I then ended up encouraging is that we continue with negotiations under the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) negotiation as I go to my own Principal (President Mnangagwa) and Cabinet to express the concerns of the teachers. I’m going to give a report to His Excellency and Cabinet soon,” said Prof Mavima.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe spokesperson Mr Nation Mudzipirwa said they were anxiously waiting for a favourable response from Cabinet.

“There is a need for our Government to restore the teacher’s dignity and for that to happen, welfare has to improve. So we are anxiously waiting to hear from the Cabinet as what was promised during the meeting last week,” he said.

Mr Mudzipirwa said there is a need for education to continue improving as well as the teachers’ welfare.

“Yes, we had the meeting with the Cabinet Ministers and they promised to take our concerns to President Mnangagwa and the Cabinet. Our position still stands, we need our salaries restored to October 2018 and we will remain in trenches because we are incapacitated,” he said.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) chief executive officer Dr Sifiso Ndlovu also said the teachers’ hopes were now hinged on what President Mnangagwa and Cabinet will agree on.

“Hopefully the President and Cabinet will come to our rescue. We need to be rescued from this cycle of poverty we are in. We need educators’ salaries to be restored back to October 2018 when we earned US$520,” said Dr Ndlovu. Chronicle

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