Appease teachers now before elections: PTUZ tells government

Phillipa Jaja

THE Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has urged government to pay teachers restored basic salaries this pre-elections period arguing that it will guard against complacency that ensures post-electoral phase.

Government workers are rejecting a US$50 salary increment by the government which has a component of the local currency portion pegged at the equivalent of US$150 at the prevailing interbank rate.

Speaking to the Review and Mail, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president, Dr Takavafira Zhou said it is incumbent that the process be carried out now.

“Salary increase should be before elections. It is common knowledge that government tends to sit on its laurels after elections.

“The present time is most opportune as works have a bargaining power being potential electorates,” he remarked.

Teachers and the rest of the civil service are demanding US$540 which they were being paid until October 2018.

Zhou said the Union professed ignorance of the latest civil servant increment saying government had not followed proper negotiation protocols.

“Salaries should be negotiated by tabling an offer which should be agreed upon by both parties.

“Peculiar about this situation is that we only got to hear about it in the papers. Government never scheduled a formal meeting with us.

“We want a basic salary that goes towards workers’ pension not these allowances they are talking about,” he fumed.

The last pay increase for the civil service was instituted in the first quarter of 2023 when the gross Zimdollar payments were hiked by 100%, cushioning and COVID-19 allowances were increased by 25% to US$250 from US$200, and an introduction of US$80 teaching allowance for public teachers.

Treasury also increased the cushioning and COVID-19 allowance for pensioners by 11,1% to US$100 from US$90 and promised a government-funded funeral insurance framework as well as a free primary school education up to a maximum of three children at government schools for all civil servants.

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