THE Government will tomorrow meet representatives of teachers and other civil servants to find a common ground as some educators have not reported for duty since public schools opened on Monday last week.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima told Sunday News yesterday that the Government understood the plight of its workers but absconding from duty or threatening industrial action was not the best way to resolve the issue. He said teachers should report for duty while their concerns were being addressed.
“We know that they (teachers and other civil servants) have said what we have given them is not enough. We are negotiating with them. We are at the negotiating table to discuss their demands. On Monday (tomorrow) we will meet unions in the public service to discuss the way forward. We want to find a common ground with them. We are appealing to them (teachers) to go back to work while we negotiate with the unions. I am meeting them ahead of the National Joint Negotiating Council,” said Prof Mavima.
Schools re-opened last week for examination classes while other classes will open later this month and early November.
However, at some schools, few teachers have been reporting for duty citing incapacitation and lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect themselves and pupils from Covid-19.
Last week the Government awarded civil servants a 40 percent cost-of-living salary adjustment, while negotiations continue with unions representing civil servants over a final agreement on wages and other employment terms.
The adjustment, and the continuation of the US$75 a month Covid-19 allowance, are interim steps taken by the Government to help cushion its employees while the negotiations are in progress. The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) examinations for Grade Seven, Form Four and Form Six classes start on 1 December and are expected to spill over to January 2021.