More Zimbabwe teachers join strike, unions say

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By Staff Reporter

MORE Zimbabwe teachers joined the classroom boycott Tuesday following the Monday reopening of local schools for examination classes.

The country’s learning institutions reopened with a lot of pupils reportedly also being turned away over lack of personal protective clothing.

Teacher organisations confirmed the development.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure revealed that schools in Matabeleland North, Mashonaland East and Matabeleland South were most affected with urban schools reportedly experiencing better attendance by both teachers and learners.

“It is official; no learning is taking place nationwide on day two of schools opening,” Masaraure said.

“Teachers are severely incapacitated and continue to withdraw their labour. Learners are ill equipped for the learning season.”

Masaure added, “Members of ARTUZ took heed of the call for the job action on the second day of schools opening.

“We also congratulate sister unions who are continuously mobilising their members for action. Our efforts are not in vain. The workers will be free.”

The union leader urged government to urgently resolve the salary dispute through payment of US$520 minimum monthly wages as was being demanded by the educators.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou also said more of their members were not reporting for duty.

“Most teachers who reported for duty yesterday did not do so today (Tuesday).

“Several pupils did not go to school today after realising the futility of reporting to school where there are no teachers.

“Teachers’ anger has also been exacerbated by reports that the government is preparing to give soldiers double the Cost of Living Adjustment that would be given to teachers.

“Teachers are increasingly being embittered by the government’s intransigent and irresponsible approach.

“They are more and more determined to forge on with an incapacitation struggle in order to demand a living wage pegged at US$520-US$550. It’s game on and there will be no surrender until final victory,” Zhou said.