The Government has appealed to teachers to report for duty as schools open for the first term this Monday saying their grievances are being addressed.
On Friday, the country’s largest union representing teachers, the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA), declared incapacitation.
However, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima on Sunday said salary negotiations will be done while teachers are at work. Said Mavima:
What we want the teachers to understand is that there is a commitment to solving those issues but can only be solved through a negotiation process with the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) leading.
So, we are appealing to the teachers to go back to school, their issues will be addressed.
We have a negotiation platform that they all understand. That should be used.
Mavima added that the NJNC is expected to meet soon as the Government team is still consulting relevant stakeholders.
ZIMTA president Richard Gundane reiterated unions’ call for US dollar salaries, saying teachers have no money to return to work. He said:
Government must pay the teachers so that they have resources to use to go to work.
What is stopping them from going to work is that they have no money.
What should come first is paying the teachers, enabling them acceptable salaries which should be in US dollars.
This should enable them to go to work.
Last Friday, ZIMTA declared incapacitation pleaded with the Government to act on civil servants’ poor salaries as a matter of urgency.
Gundane said teachers are not able to return to their workstations to assume their duties.
He also criticised the Government for not taking teachers’ grievances seriously during the last National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC) meeting held last month.
Last month the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) also said teachers are financially incapacitated and are therefore not ready for the reopening of schools.