COLLEGE lecturers have warned the government of possible disruption of service delivery in tertiary educational institutions amid government’s failure to pay decent salaries.
According to College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe (COLAZ), tertiary institutions are being affected by brain drain due to severe incapacitation and poor working conditions which is contrary to the Manpower Planning and Development Act which was signed into law in 2021.
“As lecturers in teachers, polytechnics, industrial and vocational training colleges, we are disgruntled by the delay in implementing proposed new salary grades and improved working conditions for college lecturers.
“COLAZ would like the authorities to know that failure to pay new salaries will result in severe incapacitation that will lead to disruption of service delivery in tertiary education colleges. We have witnessed an escalation of the brain drain and skills flight from our institutions,” COLAZ said.
The lecturers have since blamed the delay in implementing the provisions of the Manpower Planning and Development Act which is alleged by COLAZ to have fuelled the incapacitation of college lecturers even after Treasury concurrence was recently granted to fund the new salary grades.
“The delay in implementing the provisions of the Act has resulted in lecturers earning negative salaries as of the last quarter of 2023.
“These negative salaries have jeopardised the implementation of the noble Education 5.0 which is the key driver to Zimbabwe’s innovation and industrialisation agenda for an empowered and prosperous upper-middle-income society by 2030.
“COLAZ is aware that Treasury concurrence has since been granted to fund the proposed new salary grades with effect from this February backdated to January 2024.”
COLAZ president David Dzatsunga said the salary and service delivery hurdles surfaced when college lecturers were transitioned from Public Service Commission to the tertiary council.
“This affected lecturers as they were side-lined from basic remuneration advantages leaving them earning an estimate of ZWL$250 000 which is equivalent to US$15 using the current exchange rate.
“The issue is lecturers have been going through a hard time. They receive poor salaries which care further affected by taxes and insurance.
“All of this started when colleges migrated from Public Service Commission to the Tertiary Council, this, as a result, affected many college lecturers who are now being paid an estimate of ZWL$250 000 and a US$300 component,” he said.