Teacher unions chide civil servants’ negotiators for ‘betrayal’

Cecilia Alexander (pictured), who heads the Apex Council
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HARARE – Teacher unions have chided civil servants’ negotiators for alleged lack of courage and conviction when tasked with hammering out better remuneration for the public workforce during wage-based meetings often convened with government representatives.

The unions reject the ‘paltry’ salary increase which government tabled Thursday during the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting.

Government increased teachers’ salaries in both the US and local currency component by a slight margin.

The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for the US dollar salary was increased by 6.66 percent of the current US$300, bringing the total US dollar salary to just US$320.

The Zimbabwe dollar component was increased by 49.6 percent from the current US$80 inflation tracked ZWL to US$119.73.

This translates to a meagre US$39.73 increase which will be converted to ZWL at the prevailing bank rate on the date of salary payment.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure slammed the government and civil servants negotiating team for allegedly taking teachers for granted by offering paltry increments.

“Government is offering a paltry US$20 as increment. This is pathetic because at this time, teachers were waiting for a genuine review of their salaries and government gives this token.

“What is more surprising is that those people who call themselves negotiators as led by one Cecilia Alexander will obviously try to play Public Relations for the employer, but we know that she is an imposter; she does not have a mandate from anyone to be a negotiator at the table.

“Government has been renewing its team of negotiators but the team from the civil servants’ side is never renewed.

“Alexander is now a life-time negotiator for civil servants and always brings back rotten deals and has taken into her armpits a bunch of greedy individuals who want to benefit from lying that they represent us.

“We are glad that as the Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Unions, there is consensus that we are rejecting the paltry increment and we demand a US$1,260 as the minimum salary for a teacher and there is no time to be issuing threats.

“We are on the ground right now finalising on a solid mass action that is coming soon to force government to meet our demand,” Masaraure said.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond Majongwe concurred.

“As PTUZ, we want to send a clear message to government and His Excellency, E.D Mnangagwa that the Second Republic is yet to fulfil its promises to workers in general and teachers in particular.

“The ‘Leaving No one Behind’ mantra seems to refer to others not workers or teachers because they were left behind since October 2018 and continue to trail behind.

“Cases of suicides, drug abuse, sudden deaths, stress and divorces have tremendously increased among teachers as a result,” Majongwe said.

The new wage hikes will be backdated to January 1, 2024 and implemented this month. – ZimLive