via PTUZ says gvt treats teachers like second class citizens | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda December 17, 2013
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has blasted the government for treating teachers and other civil servants as second class citizens, amid reports the treasury is battling to find money for salaries.
Dr Takavafira Zhou, the President of the PTUZ, also threatened a wave of further industrial action if government fails to honour its pledge to increase their salaries from January next year.
‘What is of great concern is that government found money to pay its members of the security forces their salaries and bonuses in November, but when it comes to teachers and others, government has no money,’ Zhou complained.
Zhou told SW Radio Africa that it is clear the ruling ZANU PF party regards members of the armed forces as special and teachers as second class citizens, a situation he said will lead to a fresh strike in their bitter row with the government over salaries.
After ZANU PF ‘won’ the controversial July elections President Robert Mugabe promised to pay all civil servants their bonuses by November and pledged to raise their pay by January next year.
‘Our offices have been inaudated by telephone calls from teachers wanting to know when government is going to pay them,’said Zhou, adding that the teachers are ‘sharpening their instruments of combat’ should the authorities renege on their promises.
‘Should there be no salary increments by January next year as promised by the President of this country, there could be strained relations or industrial action in schools next year. If an employer fails to pay, employees have the right to withdraw their services,’ added Zhou.
He blamed government for ‘prevaricating and changing goalposts,’ adding that whenever the bonuses are paid, they will be eroded by the skyrocketing prices in shops.
‘This is an indicator that the future is so bleak. Without the recovery of industries, its going to be difficult for government to pay its workers, and we are relapsing back to the era of hyperinflation and critical shortages of money,’ he said.