ZIMTA, Workers Lock Horns In Ironic Labour Dispute

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By Alois Vinga

INFLUENTIAL teachers rights lobby group, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) is in the middle of a messy labour dispute with its workers who are demanding better salaries.

Ironically, Zimta is at the forefront of championing better remuneration and working conditions for teachers and is vocal about the low salaries government pays its members.

Speaking to Wednesday, Trade Union and Allied Staff Workers Union of Zimbabwe (TUASWUZ) general secretary, Ian Makoshori expressed dismay over the teachers union conduct.

“Our membership has tried to engage Zimta over the issue of slave wages currently being paid since last year but to no avail. For the whole of 2020 there was no salary increment effected and up to now the highest paid employees in that bracket are earning between $10 000 and $12 000 per month,” Makoshori said.

“We have since approached the Labour ministry to resolve the issue after a breakdown in this week’s negotiations between ZIMTA management and workers representatives reached a deadlock when the employer offered a paltry 105 % increment,” he said.

“All along Zimta has been collecting $250 from each member out of their total estimated membership of 42 000 teachers. Recently, they increased the subscription fees to $600 per member and all we are saying is that the least paid worker employed by the association must earn $74 600,” he said.

He added that Zimta management has even gone to the extent of issuing threats against employees rejection of the salary increment offer.

He accused the top managers at Zimta of enjoying hefty salaries and allowances at the expense of ordinary workers who are wallowing in poverty.

Contacted for comment, Zimta president Richard Gundane said he was not aware of the workers’ demands.

“You are just presenting questions based on issues which even I as the President of the association is not aware of. It appears you are privy to internal information since you are talking about internal issues. You can go ahead and print what you have,” he said.