Hardpressed UZ staff wants to move in with students

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

ORDINARY workers at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) have written to authorities running the country’s top most learning institution demanding campus accommodation as well as food as relief to high rentals and food which they say they can nolonger afford.

“We have written to your office advising you of the critical situation our staff members are facing by occasion of their salaries being eroded by high transport costs, food and rentals,” said Hlavati Taderera, UZ workers committee secretary in a letter Wednesday.

“We further wrote requesting two days a week flextime, until normalcy returns, which you have not yet responded to.”

The decision to write to their employers comes after the latter has ignored an earlier request for them to be allowed to report for work for only two days a week.

“Having realised the criticalness of our work, we are requesting on behalf of workforce that student accommodation be used by employees, who are no longer affording transport fares to and from work,” Hlavati Taderera wrote.

“Foodstuffs provision for supper and breakfast and we will prepare on our own, lunch is not a problem as we conforming to the government’s austerity measures.

“Firewood for use whilst on campus since electricity supply is erratic these days.”

Taderera said as workers, they hope that the issues in the letter will be dealt with before the 21st of this month so as not to avoid disruption in the smooth running of the learning institution.

The UZ workers’ demands comes days after Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZNA) and Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) also advised their employers that starting next week, they will only be able to come to work for two days a week only.

The country faces its worst economic crisis since the 2008 hyper inflationary environment that impoverished millions.

Price increases are the order of the day as businesses pass the burden on poor consumers, most of whom can nolonger afford basics.