By Anna Chibamu
THE Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), the country’s largest teachers’ body, has instructed its members to resume work with immediate effect.
The decision was reached after the association accepted an increase to public servants’ salaries announced by the government this week.
Most teachers in public schools have been reporting to work once or twice a week citing incapacitation due to low salaries.
However, negotiations between the APEX Council and the officials in the Ministry of Public Service in Victoria Falls this week, ended with the two parties agreeing to a salary increase of between 139.2% to 145,67%.
This will see the lowest paid government employee receiving $2500 a month and the highest earning $4 631 from $1 885. The new salaries are with effect from next month.
In an update Wednesday, ZIMTA secretary general, Tapson Sibanda said the teachers welcomed the outcome and appealed to all members to return to work with immediate effect.
“We appeal to our members to do everything possible to deliver the public services required of them,” said Sibanda.
“We further encourage authorities to accommodate our members who were unable to deliver lessons due to their incapacitation state to assist them resume duty without sanctions or reproachment.”
However, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond Majongwe and Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said the government and the Apex Council had agreed on the new salary structure in bad faith.
“We have just noted that government is in a five-day marathon meeting in Victoria Falls with civil service unions. Sad! Government continues to negotiate with its favourite unions. We will keep making noise,” Majongwe said.
“They were in Victoria Falls chewing the bones of betrayal. Let us see how it goes. Government is abusing the loyalty of its darling sweetheart unions.”