Teachers have given the government a one-week ultimatum to address their salary grievances or face a crippling strike action beginning June 1.
This comes as Civil servants under the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) are this Friday set to march against the government’s continued reluctance to pay them in United States dollars.
NewsDay reports that a letter which was handed to the government on Tuesday by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) says the educators were tired of unfulfilled promises.
ARTUZ which is led by Obert Masararure said failure to comply with their demand for United States dollar salaries and improved working conditions would force them to embark on a collective job action as provided for under section 65(3) of the Constitution.
Masaraure told NewsDay in an interview on Wednesday:
We are determined for an industrial action, unless our grievances are addressed, and we officially handed our letter to government on Tuesday.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou pledged unity with Artuz. He said:
Our belief is that we need to be united as teachers and approach the government as a united front. If nothing happens, we are also going on industrial action as we are not happy with the deductions on teachers’ payslips. We are under-paid.
PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe echoed Zhou’s sentiments adding that they will embark on industrial action this June if their grievances are not met.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube last week told Parliament that a salary demand of US$540 by teachers was misleading, saying the educators used to earn half of the amount in 2018.