By Clayton Shereni, Masvingo Correspondent
LECTURERS at Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) have gone on strike.
They join their University of Zimbabwe (UZ) colleagues also on industrial action having declared incapacitation Monday and teachers who withdrew labour from February 7 when schools were expected to open for the first term.
In a letter to the university’s vice chancellor (VC) Rungano Zvobgo, lecturers said the value of their salaries, paid in the local currency, had been eroded by inflation and a worsening economy.
They notified Zvobgo that they will not be reporting for duty with immediate effect and will only do so once they get a salary increment commensurate with the prevailing prices of goods and services.
“Subsequent to the majority decision of the members in attendance to General Meetings held on 12 February, 2022 at Great Zimbabwe University Moot Court, Hebert Chitepo School of Law and Chemberi Hall, Mashava Campus, respectively and the indicated position in the Special Works Council held on 17 December, 2021 at Herbert Chitepo School of Law, a position has been taken to serve notice of the employees’ incapacitation,” the letter reads.
“Suffice to highlight that despite, the constituencies’ willingness to render services to the employer and to report for normal duty, the applicable salary rates are not consonant with and severely inadequate to cater for the basic needs of the employees as reflected in the shift of the Poverty Datum line.
“It is undeniable that, there has been a drastic increase in the cost of living, inclusive of utilities, service providers’ premiums (medical and funeral policies), rentals, data bundles against a stagnant salary.
“It is against this background that, we notify that our members are not able to report for duty with immediate effect, until due address is made to the plight of our members.”
GZU director of information, Anderson Chipatiso said the institution’s management will meet with representatives of the workers’ union to find a solution.
“The letter has been received, university management will meet with workers’ representatives tomorrow to discuss its contents,” Chipatiso said.
Meanwhile, the disgruntled workers have expressed dissatisfaction with the institution’s recruitment criteria and alleged nepotism at the institution.
The university’s top management stands accused of parceling out lucrative packages and posts to close relatives and disgruntled workers are considering petitioning President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the matter.