By Thobekile Khumalo
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) says the salary increment for teachers and other civil servants was an insult to hardworking government employees.
The civil service offered a 25% salary increment to its employees, which will see them getting a salary of US$200 effective this month.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com, PTUZ President, Dr Takavafura Zhou said the 25% salary increment for civil servants fell short of their minimum expectations.
“The US$25 falls far short of our minimum expectation of a quantum of US$540, and is, therefore, unacceptable and an insult to the hardworking teachers,” he said.
“It is also not a product of collective bargaining, but a one armed banditry government offer intended to give a false impression that government is negotiating with some workers when in reality it is not.”
Zhou said such fire fighting antics have no traction as government must mellow down to a more constructive approach that respects social dialogue and collective bargaining under section 65 of the Constitution.
“Unless teachers get US$540, there will be no industrial harmony and productivity in schools. Teachers are incapacitated and the best foot forward is collective action for status restoration of teachers.
“Boardroom meetings can only be meaningful when backed by alternative to collective action when the employer is vacillating and prevaricating on a number of agreements,” he said.
In a statement released Tuesday by the National Joint Negotiation Council (NJNC) employees were to receive US$200 effective September 1.
The statement also indicated that salaries in local currency have not been increased for every civil servant.
“On school fees assistance for teachers children, the government indicated that they have challenges again with payment modalities but it was acknowledged that most of the bottlenecks have been addressed,” read part of the statement.
Teachers complained that ZWL20 000 per child was no longer enough given the latest school fees increases and that government should consider indexing the figure to a US$50 value.