By NQOBANI NDLOVU
ZIMBABWE Teachers Association (Zimta) members in Bulawayo have urged its leadership to call for strike action over poor salaries.
In a position paper dated October 14, 2021, addressed to the Zimta national leadership, the teachers said they had run out of patience with the government over false promises to improve their working conditions.
They demanded that, at least half of their salaries be paid in United States dollars.
Their complaints come as prices of basic goods and services have been on a sharp rise in recent weeks as the local currency continues to tank against major currencies.
Government has reacted by naming, shaming and arresting alleged currency fixers.
However, this has done little to stop price hikes.
Zimta Bulawayo provincial secretary Promise Keti called on the union leadership to provide a clear direction in response to their grievances related to “slave wages.”
“For the record, it is a fact that educators are incapacitated due to the current slave salaries being paid by the employer, and have run out of patience with the empty promises we have been getting. Educators can no longer afford a decent professional dress code as expected,” Keti said.
“Given the above concerns, we recommend to the national executive that Zimta must immediately declare a total withdrawal of labour by all its members until the government has addressed these grievances.
“As a condition for the resumption of duty, payment of salaries must be at least 50% US$ and the remainder in RTGS.
“No more pegging salaries on the interbank rate. Educators will not invigilate the coming examinations unless all these concerns have been addressed.”
Zimta chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu yesterday confirmed receipt of the position paper from the Bulawayo branch, but said the union was yet to meet to deliberate on the way forward.
“We will look at that position as a national leadership and subject it to a national consensus because we are representing members who are all over the country and we represent a diversity of interests and opinions in their own right.
“Once it’s deliberated on, then we will issue a co-ordinated response,” Ndlovu said.