School Reopening In Doubt As Teachers Declare Incapacitation

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By Anna Chibamu

THE reopening of Schools, scheduled for Monday, is in serious doubt after teachers declared they were financially hamstrung and unable to go to work.

Teachers’ unions Friday warned government that their members will not report for duty.

They are demanding a review of their monthly salaries to an equivalent US$540.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond Majongwe said: “What they expect (teachers) is the announcement that the government has reviewed their salaries with effect from January 2022. It does not make sense that the government is content to remunerate its employees a quarter of the consumer basket, which as of December 2021 stood at $72 000. We would be shocked if the government expects teachers to report for teachers on February the 7, 2022.”

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) said its national executive resolved to declare a state of incapacitation for its members.

“The response from the government in the last NJNC meeting did not give an aorta of hope. We urge authorities to conclude the salary issue now. Zimta stands by other teachers’ unions’ recommendations in public schools,” Zimta national president Richard Gundani in a statement.

Federation Education Unions of Zimbabwe (FEUZ) also weighed in saying: “As of Monday, February 7, all educators cannot afford to report for duty not because they do not want to assume duty, but they are totally incapacitated.

“FEUZ stands by the recommendations of the many teachers in the public schools and many civil servants tormented by the poor salary and employment benefits awarded negligently by the employer.”

The Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (TUZ) wrote: “This serves to notify that member if Teachers Union of Zimbabwe are unable to report for duty as per declaration by the government for schools to open on February the 7th 2022 due to incapacitation.”

The Zimbabwe Rural Teachers’ Union (ZRTU) also declared that the government needed to enhance the rural teacher to report for work after addressing his/her challenges as a matter of urgency.

Zimbabwe National Teachers’ Union (ZINATU) demanded payment of US$540 salaries to allow teachers to go back to work.

Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Union simply demanded that if any hopes of teachers to return to work are to be entertained, government should pay their salaries in United States dollars.

“Teachers will not report for duty until the above demands are met. February 7 is a national day of action for education; an online protest will be staged by all citizens in a bid to protect our education from further collapse,” it said.