The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has said teachers are financially incapacitated and are therefore not ready for the reopening of schools.
In a letter addressed to the Public Service Commission (PSC) and copied to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MOPSE), dated 29 January 2022, PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe accused the Government of “spoiling for a fight” with its employees.
This comes after the Acting Minister of Health and Child Care, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Amon Murwira on Friday announced that schools will be opened on the 7th of February. Said Majongwe in the letter:
We take note of the statement by the government informing the nation that schools will be opened on the 7th of February, 2022.
It would seem that the government is always spoiling for a fight with its long-suffering employees, given the timing of the announcement and the prevailing circumstances.
Our members cannot be expected to comply with the directive to reopen schools now before the government has financially capacitated them.
Majongwe said teachers expected the Government to announce that it has reviewed their salaries with effect from January 2022. He said:
It does not make sense that the government is content to remunerate its employees with about a quarter of the consumer basket, which as of December 2021 stood at about $72 000.
None of our members managed to meet their very basic expenses with the measly amount they received as salaries on 18th January 2022.
Why anyone believe teachers managed to spare anything from that amount so they can report for duty on 7 February 2022 beats us.
Majongwe said the PTUZ would be shocked if the Government really believes that teachers will report for work on 7 February.
He urged the Government to utilise the time between now and the 7th of February to ensure that it solves the issue of teacher remuneration.