Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Teachers fight back . . . Union goes to court over scrapped leave

By Pamela Shumba

The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) has taken the government to court over its decision to cancel teachers’ annual leave.

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

The teachers’ union filed papers at the Labour Court in Harare yesterday and cited the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education as respondents.

The government last week ordered all teachers on leave to immediately return to work, a decision that irked teachers’ unions.

A circular delivered to all schools across the country indicated that CSC officials would soon be visiting schools to ensure that teachers complied with the order.

Zimta has since advised its members to remain on leave as the matter was before the court. The union’s chief executive officer, Sifiso Ndlovu, yesterday confirmed that they had gone to court over the matter.

“We’re suing the ministry for treating us unfairly by cancelling our leave. This is a matter we’re taking seriously given all the abnormalities that are associated with the matter. The ministry must obviously explain its reasons to the court since it failed to explain to us,” said Ndlovu.

“There are so many battles to fight and we’re dealing with one at a time. We’re simply seeking justice from the court and we want the law of the land to be respected.”

He added that Zimta would handle other issues individually as the union continues to fight for better working conditions and fair treatment from the government.

The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Lazarus Dokora, referred all question to the CSC, which could not be reached. However, Zimta told its members in a statement that they should defy the government’s directive.

“Zimta has engaged its legal forces to challenge both the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education over its decision to cancel teachers’ vacation leave. Affected members are called upon to submit evidence through Zimta Provincial offices.

“Zimta advises all teachers on leave not to report to work until proper procedures, such as inviting individuals back to work using individual letters, have been followed. Members in doubt over procedures to be followed are urged to contact their provincial offices for guidance,” it said. The Chronicle