Teachers Demand 2021 Bonus In US$, Threaten To Disrupt Lessons

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By Mandipa Masenyama

THE Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) Monday demanded the government should pay public servants their 2021 13th cheque in US dollars to save the deteriorating quality of education.

Last week, Public Service Minister Paul Mavima confirmed the government would pay all civil servants their annual bonus this month following negotiations between public-sector unions and the state.

“We are definitely going to be paying bonuses this year, but what is left is the quantum which will be paid out,” Mavima.

However, in a statement, ZIMTA demanded teachers must be paid their bonuses in US dollars.

Currently, civil servants receive their salaries in the local currency.

“Teachers are demanding that the employer must pay a bonus in United States dollars this month of November 2021.  Because teachers are sinking deeper into incapacitation each and every day. This is the only way to avert crushing them deeper into poverty and dysfunction,’’ ZIMTA said.

It also appealed to the government to put in place a facility that enables educators to withdraw US$50 from their individual Nostro accounts weekly as the majority of teachers were failing to withdraw foreign currency from their banks.

‘’In the same declaration, the educators are demanding that the government put in place a facility that enables teachers to access the weekly US$50 from their individual Nostro accounts. This has been necessitated by the failure of the majority to access their weekly forex allocations availed to them via local banks and bureau de changes by the RBZ.’’

ZIMTA added teachers wanted the invigilation allowances to be paid by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) effective November, to guarantee the quality of examinations and to motivate markers as there was evidence the councils was capable of paying the allowances.

The government is currently paying teachers the invigilation allowances.

‘’Starting this November 2021, teachers want invigilation of examinations to be paid for by ZIMSEC, as this is the only way to guarantee the quality of examinations while motivating the teachers and introducing equity in the treatment of all those who manage examinations,’’ ZIMTA said.

‘’Evidence at hand has proved that ZIMSEC has the capacity to pay for invigilation of exams by teachers.’’

ZIMTA threatened failure to meet the teachers’ demands would result in the disruption of learning in schools, and compromise learners.