The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has warned that teachers will “fight back” if the government does not pay them their pre-October 2018 salaries.
Public schools reopened on the 5th of September amid reports of teachers “going slow.” Said the union in a Twitter post:
The government should never assume that Unions have retreated from the fight for USD 540. We just gave them a long rope. We requested a USD 200 cushion & they ignored our call. September payday is coming, if the government doesn’t pay pre-October 2018 salaries workers will fight back!
Teachers and the rest of the public service, have been at loggerheads with the government since 2019 over salaries after the government decided to pay them in the local currency that was pegged at 1: 1 with the United States dollar.
Reintroduced in June 2019, the Zimbabwe dollar has constantly been losing value against the USD thereby eroding workers’ salaries.
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On the other hand, the government has been taking time to review salaries, offering non-monetary benefits instead. Treasury says the government does not have enough foreign currency to pay its workforce.
Previously, the government responded to strikes by deploying the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to thwart the demos while some workers were suspended.
Poor salaries have resulted in the mass exodus of workers to neighbouring countries or overseas.