Govt, teachers in deadlock

By Andrew Kunambura

The crisis meeting between government and teachers’ unions ended in deadlock yesterday after government only offered them a 10 percent increment against their demand of a 100 percent hike.

File picture of teachers on strike in Zimbabwe
File picture of teachers on strike in Zimbabwe

By the time of going to print last night, the unions were still locked in caucus meetings to decide on the way forward.

Teachers have threatened not to report for duty when schools open for the second term today.

Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Union (Fozeu) spokesperson Takavafira Zhou confirmed the development last night.

“On salaries and allowances, government is offering a 10 percent increase.

“On this workers’ side we requested to go back and consult constituencies and meanwhile asked government to go back and try to improve on the 10 percent offer,” he said.

Other commitments made by government include reducing rentals on teachers staying in school houses to not more than housing allowances, the establishment of a collective bargaining council, introduction of command housing and special provisions for civil servants, rural allowance to be reinstated back to 10 percent, vacation leave for teachers has been reinstated and accrued leave days will be staggered and paid.

Government, however, refused to scrap import duty on vehicles for civil servants.

“These are half-hearted measures by government that do not address the major challenges affecting teachers.

“The only issue that received better attention is the vacation leave.

“Fozeu meeting is now in progress but government’s offer falls far short of meeting teachers’ minimum expectations,” Zhou said last night.

The planned strike was being pushed by the Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ), Zimbabwe Teachers Union and the Amalgamated Rural Teachers of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ).

The unions broke away from the umbrella civil servants union, the Apex Council arguing that it no longer represented their interests.

Government is citing resource constraints as its reasons for inability to meet the teachers’ demands. DailyNews