‘Pay full salaries in USD. Just fully dollarize’ Chamisa tells ED govt
Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has advised the government to pay civil servants’ salaries in United States Dollars in order to break a paralysing strike by teachers.
Schools were opened last Monday but teachers at public institutions have not attended classes in protest of poor wages. They want salaries to be paid in US$.
On Tuesday, the government announced minor adjustments to civil servants’ pay and a battery of non-monetary incentives in a move aimed at ending teachers’ job action.
Government announced a 20 percent increment backdated to January. The Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said with effect from March, civil servants will have part of their salary converted to US$100.
The new measures are likely to see an incentive of ZWL4,200 for a teacher earning ZWL 21,000. From March, that teacher will get ZWL 13,000, the US$100 and a US$75 Covid-19 allowance.
But teachers’ unions rejected the offer crying it is way below US$540 that they are demanding.
On Thursday Chamisa urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to fully dollarise and pay civil servants in US$
“RESTORE WORKERS’ DIGNTY.. Government incentive measures to partially pay civil servants in USD is too little to guarantee a decent wage. Pay full salaries in USD. Just fully dollarize. The market is now effectively dollarised. Our Citizens’ government will make workers happy again!,” he said.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) maintained its members were still incapacitated to attend classes despite the paltry incentives.
“Exasperated parents and learners are asking; when are teachers coming back to the classroom? We expect to be back in the classroom as soon as Mthuli Ncube has tabled a revised, realistic,time-bound offer that pulls teachers out of poverty. The RTGS that we know is not a currency,” PTUZ said.
“The same gvt that presided over 300-500% increase in school fees, over 300% increases in local gvt tariffs, and the doubling of the price of bread is the one we are asking to simply restore our purchasing power as it existed in September 2018. Is that difficult to understand?”
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe posted on Twitter: “Day 4 of successful Tr resistance. Thank you parents for keeping our children at home. Let’s do the patriotic duty of realigning our nation’s priorities. Social services for our people should come first. Let’s call upon Mthuli Ncube to #EndSalarySanctions to #SaveOurEducationZw.”
Government has since announced it would soon suspend teachers and headmasters failing to report for duty since Monday. Nehanda Radio