Fresh blow for govt’ bid to reopen schools

Date:

… as ZIMTA declares teachers incapacitated

ZIMBABWE – The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) national executive has declared incapacitation of teachers with regards to opening of schools on 28 September 2020.

The largest teacher’s trade union sent a circular announcing the decision made yesterday by the national executive on behalf of it’s 42 000 members across the country.

The circular cites poor remuneration as one of the main concerns together with the unilateral decision by the government to reopen schools without broad consultation with the regard to the preparedness of schools to deal with Covid-19.

ZIMTA highlights that teachers have been hit hard by the economic decline coupled with their salaries which are in local currency and currently equivalent to not more than US$35 per month.

On the other hand, the economy is self dollarising with many now charging for goods and services in foreign currency making the situation untenable for teachers.

“After a wide consultation of all our forty two thousand (42 000) members across all ten of the country’s provinces, the ZIMTA National Executive Council hereby declares that all educators will not be able to report for duty on the 28th of September 2020 for opening of schools as they are INCAPACITATED,” read part of the circular.

The circular went on to outline some of the major concerns that need to be addressed before the teachers report for duty.

Some of these include the implementation of World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines against Covid-19, the restoration of teacher salaries to equivalent of US$520 per month and payment of Covid-19 allowances that are a result of negotiations and not the President’s benevolence.

The teacher’s association also noted that it was “appalled by the wide and unjustified disparities in basic salaries between teachers and other public servants.”

This concern is particularly in response to the salary increase that were given to members of the security forces while teachers continued to be neglected.

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