ZIMTA demands urgent government action to address teachers’ plight

The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) has called on the government to immediately address the teachers’ salaries issue by reviewing the United States Dollar component.

In a media statement released yesterday, ZIMTA said it was imperative to address the current stalemate in negotiations with the government by convening a National Joint Negotiating Council.

The union said the prolonged inaction and disregard for teachers’ concerns could not be tolerated anymore.

“Our dedicated teachers who tirelessly serve the public day in and day out, are grappling with abysmally low salaries that fail to keep pace with the rising cost of living,” said ZIMTA.

“The lack of a fair and living wage not only undermines the morale and well-being of our members but also jeopardizes our ability to provide for our families and to contribute meaningfully to aggregate demand in the economy.”

ZIMTA urged the government to engage in constructive dialogue and expedite the negotiation process to address the pressing issues facing teachers and retirees.

The association added that it was time for the government to prioritise the well-being and livelihoods of teachers, ensuring fair compensation, improved working conditions, and adequate support for retirees.

“Any procrastination of improved salaries beyond March 2024 will be a silent declaration of conflict of rights and interests likely to escalate to a dispute,” said ZIMTA.

“We urge the government to revert to the table and improve the USD salary, which is now the dominant currency in the market at about 85% circulation. The employer should take advantage of this call and correct salary structure discrepancies arising from the wrong manipulation of job grading in the civil service in general.”

ZIMTA appealed for the public’s solidarity in pressuring the government to take concrete steps towards resolving the critical issues.

“Together, we can create a more just and equitable future for all serving teachers and retirees in our nation,” the union said.

It added: “We emphasize the urgency for government action and also invite the public and grassroots membership to help push for meaningful change. We urge all teachers to engage in their work circles in the mobilization of solidarity.”

ZIMTA also bemoaned the deplorable conditions of service, including inadequate resources, lack of essential equipment, and limited access to proper training, further exacerbating the challenges faced by teachers.

“These conditions not only hinder our ability to perform duties effectively but also compromise the quality of services provided to the public,” said the association.

The government should also address the plight of retirees, who have dedicated their lives to public service.

“Many retired teachers are struggling to make ends meet, as their pensions fall short of covering necessities. The government’s failure to address the concerns of retirees and provide adequate support reflects a callous disregard for those who have served our country faithfully.”

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