Teachers say government has ignored calls for discussions on salary increments 

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By Tapiwa Svondo

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) has revealed that the government has ignored several of its calls for meetings to discuss their salary increments.

Schools opened for the second term of 2024 Tuesday with teachers unions expressing their dissatisfaction over their meagre remuneration which is eroded by inflation.

In a statement, ZIMTA president Akuneni Maphosa said the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) is being violated and needs restoration.

“Dissatisfied members of the teaching fraternity are sadly trickling back to their workstations under difficult and unforeseen circumstances as the employer has failed to respond to the calls for meetings to discuss salary increases, during the month of April 2024, which should mark the first quarter negotiations of the NJNC meeting which has been the norm over the years.

“The teaching fraternity has made various attempts to draw the employer to the discussion table with no success. Because of this attitude from the employer, members of the teaching fraternity believe that their Right to Collective Bargaining under the NJNC is being infringed upon. We demand to have our RIGHT restored back to us,” said Maphosa.

The teaching fraternity called on the employer to abide by the Sustainable Development Goals implemented by the government to address certain challenges.

“The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal number 4, which the Zimbabwean Government is signatory to, will only be achieved on condition that quality public education is well funded and that teachers who are the key facilitators, are motivated and well remunerated through the releasing and payment of improved salaries.

ZIMTA further called on the government to address the grading systems used to pay teachers’ salaries.

“The issue of awkward grading systems between junior and senior grades is a cause for concern amongst members of the education fraternity and we hereby make an urgent call for the employer to address it alongside the awarding of new salaries for educators”, added Maphosa.