The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has urged teachers’ unions to desist from embarking on industrial action to force the Government to address their grievances.
Unions representing teachers are reportedly planning a full-blown strike in protest over deductions of huge amounts from the salaries of educators who went on strike in February.
Thousands of teachers refused to report for duty when schools opened for the first term on 7 February citing incapacitation.
Teachers are pushing for the restoration of their pre-October 2018 salary of US$540. They are currently earning US$175 plus around RTGS$28 000.
Primary and Secondary Education communications and advocacy director Taungana Ndoro told NewsDay that a strike by teachers will further disrupt learning in schools following disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus. Ndoro said:
We can’t afford to have another disruption from a job action after all those disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The issues should be resolved amicably.
The ministry does not encourage strikes to resolve the teachers’ concerns. The education system should thrive and it only thrives when children are learning in schools.
The teachers have their representatives who can sit down with the government and talk about their grievances.
There is a need for collaborative efforts to ensure that learners recover all the learning time lost during lockdowns.
In 2021, the Government announced that it was adopting the no-work no-pay policy after teachers went on strike.
This means that the Government will make deductions from the salaries of teachers who fail to report for duty without justification.
Public Service Commission (PSC) Permanent Secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe confirmed the deductions effected this month.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said that the PSC deducted between $11 000 and $17 000 from teachers.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said that the PSC deducted up to $20 000 from the teachers’ salaries.