US$50 govt offer peanuts: Teachers

Artuz leader Obert Masaraure

UNIONS representing teachers yesterday said a government US$50 salary offer was a slap in the face given the country’s high cost of living.

During a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Cabinet had received a report of the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) held on July 7, 2023, where government tabled the offer.

Union leaders who spoke to NewsDay said they were not part of the negotiations after having quit NJNC in 2022 following two years of fruitless negotiation.

NJNC brings together the government and unions representing civil servants for negotiations on salaries and conditions of service

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) leader Obert Masaraure said government was negotiating in bad faith.

“As Artuz, we are further disgusted by this move as it is ultra vires section 203(2)b, which states that the Public Service Commission, subject to section 65(5), should be able to fix and regulate conditions of service, including salaries, allowances and other benefits, of members of the civil service,” Masaraire said, adding that they wanted US$1 260 as basic salary.

Educators Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Tapedza Zhou said there was no political will on the part of government to improve their welfare.

Teachers are earning US$250 in allowances plus a Zimdollar component.

“Failure to convert these allowances to a salary which is pensionable clearly shows the government’s lack of seriousness on bread and butter issues,” Zhou said.

 Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions secretary-general David Dzatsunga, however, said they were not sell-outs by taking part in the NJNC.

“We have not seen anything yet that they (other unions) have negotiated in terms of salaries except that they are negotiating through the media,” he said.

“As much as they call us sellouts, at least we talk to the government and get something for the workers.”

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