Mnangagwa government u-turns on teachers’ salaries

The GOVERNMENT has flip-flopped on its earlier decision to cut teachers’ salaries.

This follows pay cuts for teachers who had not reported to work due to disability.

A circular dated June 22, 2022 written by Manicaland Provincial Director of Education, Charles Mugano, to all District School Inspectors in Manicaland, states: “As noted, we must seek waiver of fees for teachers who did not report for work during the period from February 7 to 21, 2022 and had surcharges levied against them.

“Recipients may urgently forward copies of payslips showing the months in which the increase(s) were made and attach the member’s copy of the misconduct charge to reach the Provincial Director of Education at no later than Friday, August 19, 2022. This exercise affects members who were involved during the period of incapacity only and excludes those who were already on leave without pay during the period in question.

Teachers’ unions described the U-turn as embarrassing on the government’s part.

The General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Union of Educators, Tapedza Zhou, said: “This is not a generous gesture, but the outcome of the court case which found the government’s earlier decision to be illegal. Therefore , everyone whose money was blocked should be reimbursed. The government was forced to eat a
humble pie.”

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) President Obert Masaraure said the courts also ruled against the teachers’ suspension.

“The teachers were in a legitimate and justified professional action exercising the rights guaranteed in Article 65 of the Constitution. The courts had also made decisions prohibiting the suspension of absent teachers. In the future, the government should simply pay a salary decent or face more jobs actions like the one scheduled for September 6, 2022,” Masaraure said.

President of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Takavafira Zhou, said: “There was no reason to deduct money from the teachers. If the employer, in his wisdom or lack of thought, had a complaint against employees, a regular procedure was supposed to have been followed investigation, presentation of the charges, summoning of each employee to a hearing, holding of the hearing then reasoned determination of the decision.

“Still, we are closely monitoring the implementation of teacher refunds and encourage all headteachers, districts and provinces to address the refunds as a matter of urgency as they were illogical, illegal, unfortunate and ill-conceived,” he said. Zhou said. .

The General Secretary of the Union of Head Teachers of Zimbabwe, Munyaradzi Majoni, said they were still waiting for an official communication on the matter.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro, said he had not yet obtained any comments from the relevant authorities in the ministry on the matter.

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