The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association president Akuneni Maphosa has expressed disappointment with the government for undertaking a job evaluation exercise without consulting workers’ unions.
In an interview Maphosa, who attended a recent meeting with the Public Service Commission (PSC), said labour representatives were shocked to be presented with an executive summary of the job evaluation without having access to the full document.
The government embarked on a job evaluation in 2023 to correct distorted grades. The process was delayed by over 20 years due to the government’s lethargic approach to fixing urgent problems adversely affecting civil servants – including teachers.
“We met the Public Service Commission (PSC) and in that it was a consultative meeting where the PSC presented a summary of the findings of the job evaluation. We made interventions and demanded that we look at the full document.
“We raised red flags of no consultations because government did not ask for input from the unions. We are stakeholders in labour and anything that concerns us we must be consulted. This is an ongoing process and we look forward to the PSC to share with us more details,” said Maphosa.
“Talking about job evaluation, I want to indicate that this has a history, we realise that it has taken over 20 years for the government to undertake the job evaluation exercise. Some grades were distorted and a lot of incorrect information.”
Commenting on the thorny issue of salaries, Maphosa said related to the job evaluation was negotiations of better pay.
He said: “Our salaries campaign dates back to October 2018 when we were earning US$540 and the government stole our salaries by reducing to ZW$540 up to today when we are getting nothing. Government stole our money, stole our value.
“With further research we come to the position that teachers must earn US$1,376; this is exactly what we are worth. However, for purposes of collective bargaining, we are saying teacher must at least get US$840 per month,” said Maphosa.
The ZIMTA president said the current salary falls far short of what teachers expect.
“The government must take us back to where we were in 2018, our money was stolen and we want it back,” said Maphosa.
“You will realise that the 2024 budget which converted the allowance to pensionable salary but it’s nowhere near our target of US$840. Our argument remains.”