By Mbekezeli Ncube
THE Zimbabwe State Universities Union members have vowed to down tools at all government-run varsities from next Monday citing poor working conditions and salaries.
Zimbabwe has 12 state universities including; University of Zimbabwe, National University of Science and Technology, Midlands State University, Great Zimbabwe University, Gwanda State University, and Lupane State University.
In a letter to universities councils, and copied to the ministry of higher education secretary Fanuel Tagwira, vice-chancellors, registrars, and chairpersons of workers’ committees, the workers complained over the poor salaries they are receiving.
“The state universities’ salaries have lost value and have been eroded whilst services, utilities, and basic commodities are quoted in United States dollars or other foreign currency,” the letter reads.
“The employer has neglected the agreement to meet the (SADC) regional parity level salaries for state universities. The state universities employees have been denied to exercise their right to negotiate as enshrined in the Labour Act,” reads part of the letter.
The workers are also demanding the purchasing power of state universities employees’ salaries be retained to the level of their July 2018 salaries.
“The employees demand that the employer makes urgent steps to attain the regional level salary scales as per the agreement of 2010. The employer must urgently redress the salary disparity created in October 2019.
“We are, therefore, giving notice to engage in a collective job action. The notice to strike is with effect from 23 November 2020.”