Teachers who have been earning salaries way below their status and professional levels for at least 3 years now have finally officially declared their incapacitation during the month of February 2022 citing that they are unable to subsidise the employer by turning up at the work stations for duty. The declaration statement was made on February 3 by Zimbabwe’s largest teacher trade union, ZIMTA ,at the ZIMTA-Ehlkweni Vocational Institute (ZEVI), in the Motobo district of Matebeleland South Province.
In the declaration statement, teachers protested strongly against the government’s attitude of not attending to their bread-and-butter issues with haste and seriousness. The Union declared that, its members had resorted to remain home until such a time, when the employer would be able to attend to their salary review demands and many others which have already been submitted to the employer.
Teachers have declared incapacitation because they feel that the salary levels earned in January 2022 are inadequate. In addition to an inadequate salary, teachers have constantly failed to meet their natural obligations such as providing for their families, paying for their own children’s school fees, rentals and daily commuting costs to schools.
“Without any meaningful salary increase, educators have no way of going back to their duties, “The union said in its declaratory statement issued by the Union, President, Mr Richard, Mundane.
“The response from the from the government in the last NJNC meeting did not give an aorta of hope, instead it squared all the goodwill, that educators had credited the negotiating platform with. Teachers now postulate that the USD $75 Covid 19 allowance was a make-believe gesture meant to pull wool, over their faces so that the State would appear like they cared about the Teachers’ welfare. Teachers’ patience has been overstretched and now teachers feel provoked, underrated, thought off and abused, a strong feeling of disdain has been generated on the negotiating structures”, the statement noted.
Officially, teachers who belong to several other unions did not turn up for duty with effect from Monday 7 February as a result of failing victim to incapacitation. It is mostly the teachers in the public schools that are hardest hit with the problem of receiving low pay whilst those in the private and mission schools are well cushioned by their employers in the majority of the cases.