By Alois Vinga
GOVERNMENT workers from the health and education sectors have joined forces and agreed to collectively demand their salaries in foreign currency in a development marking the emergence of the long abandoned workers collaboration in the wake of ongoing economic challenges.
A statement released by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) confirmed that a cross sectors meeting between education and health workers representatives was held in a bid to demand a living wage.
“The collective initiative has successfully resolved that we stand in total solidarity with the doctors and all medical personnel currently on strike and we are in total disagreement with subtle and open threats against them for embarking on legitimate strike action and we strongly urge government address the demands by the doctors.
“As the education and health services sectors, we have unanimously resolved with effect from this day that our incapacitated members will not be able to attend to their duties,” said the statement.
Other demands in the statement highlighted that government workers’ salaries must be paid in foreign currency backdated to October 2018 including the outstanding bonus component.
The workers also agreed that an attack on one individual must be considered as “an injury to all”.
“If the government harasses any of the Health and Education Services members, the concept of injure all will immediately kick in,” said the statement.
The union also said that they will proceed with the 7 January protest billed to be staged at Finance Minister’s offices in association with sister unions that have pledged to join in.
The new development is in sync with the call for unity that has been consistently made by ARTUZ leadership.