The Government has suspended more than 1 000 teachers for three months for failing to report for duty during the 2022 first term.
The teachers, who cited incapacitation, refused to work when the 2022 first term commenced and were then directed to report for duty by 22 February or face suspension.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president, Obert Masaraure confirmed the suspensions. He said:
Overall, 1 000 teachers were suspended for three months without pay with 55 members coming from ARTUZ.
The government is acting like a slave driver who disregards the teachers’ rights.
What they only want is for teachers to work without raising a red flag about the working conditions.
We are still languishing in poverty as the parallel market exchange rate has skyrocketed to US$1:ZWL$300 as we are getting less than ZWL$250 per month for our toil.
Masauraure also decried the Government’s failure to fulfil its commitment to pay fees for three biological children for teachers. He said:
We have made partial payments to various schools that our children attend but nothing has been paid for as our children were returned home for not paying full fees.
How can we continue negotiating with an employer that continues to put fake promises on the table?
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said teachers will not be intimidated by the government. He said:
We are not bothered and worried by the government’s antics of intimidating union bodies, headmasters and unleashing youth militia on teachers in rural areas.
We will weather the storm and fight for our members’ plight.
The suspended teachers were demanding the restoration of their US$540 pre-October 2018 salaries.