Teachers threaten Ncube siege if wage demands are ignored

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By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S rural teachers have threatened to go and set up camp at Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s doorstep if treasury failed to address their wage demands.

This comes after the educators had embarked on a two day industrial action which they called off on Thursday.

They were protesting, among other issues, the “unilateral slashing of bonuses” and “salary theft” by authorities.

The teachers, through their vocal Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), described the job action as a success.

However, they have vowed to go a gear up in their bid to force government to heed their demands.

“ARTUZ and thousands of other unions took heed of ARTUZ’s call to stay away from work. Next is salary Caravan. The stay away is in protest against the unilateral slashing of our bonus and theft of our salaries,” said the group in a statement.

Since government’s highly unpopular introduction of a 2 percent tax on all electronic transfers early October, prices have shot through the roof with government workers most affected as their wages remain stagnant.

This has prompted demands by teachers to be paid in United States dollars arguing that their savings have been eroded by the fast depreciating value of the local bond note.

Rural teachers were also irked by the finance minister’s decision to abandon the traditional bonus payment based on gross income saying their 13th cheque was slashed by “Professor Mthuli Ncube in his atrocious 2019 budget”.

The educators have said if government decided to ignore their pleas, they will take the fight right to Ncube’s office.

“The big question coming from our members and other civil servants is what’s next if our call is not heard.

“The fourth phase is a Salary Caravan from Mutare to Harare. The caravan will leave Mutare on 09/12/18 heading to Harare mobilising other members of the working class to join.

“The Caravan will camp at Finance Ministry until our grievances are addressed,” said the group.