‘Teachers are middle class, they deserve US$1,376 salary’

The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) chief executive officer Dr Sifiso Ndlovu has said educators deserve a US$1,376 salary per month because they are middle-class income earners who work hard to produce the country’s human capital.

In an interview, Dr Ndlovu said the occupational status of an educator in Zimbabwe was determined by the level of remuneration.

“We must maintain good teachers in the class; it’s important to motivate them,” he said.

“We agree with the government philosophy of turning Zimbabwe into an Upper Middle-Income economy by 2030. That means we have to reclassify the teachers in Zimbabwe; where do we place educators in the social strata and our position is that we place them in the middle class.

“Hence, there are expectations of a middle-class income earner and we have to restore the teacher to yesteryear position. Teachers must be recognised and respected.”

Dr Ndlovu said ZIMTA believes that a middle-class person could not be measured in terms of the Poverty Datum Line (PDL).

“But to reduce the producers of all skilled people in this country to PDL; it’s demeaning and an insult,” said the ZIMTA CEO.

“The ideal situation is for teachers to earn US$1,376 per month.”

Dr Ndlovu went on: “We have computed what a middle-class income must earn; hence the demand of the figures, which are always changing due to rising cost of living and currency volatility.

“We applaud the government for converting the USD allowance into a salary because it comes with a lot of transfer benefits that empower an employee. But the gap between what teachers are earning and what is ideal is US$1,000 and we are saying the employer should come on board.”

Dr Ndlovu said dialogue for salaries with the government was “weak” as meetings were not being done as per expectation.

“We were supposed to have met as early as the beginning of the year but that hasn’t happened,” he said.

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