“Teachers victims of state repression”

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BY LORRAINE MUROMO / BEAUTY NYUKE

The TEACHERS unions accused the government of failing to respond to their wage grievances and said they had become victims of capitalism and state repression.

They said that following revelations from Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube that the government had achieved a budget surplus of $ 9.8 billion, they were now entitled to better wages and are renewing calls to be paid to a local currency equivalent of $ 520 per month.

The president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Takavafira Zhou, said he was concerned that the government was not disturbed by the deteriorating working conditions of teachers.

“The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube, recently declared that Zimbabwe has a budget surplus of $ 9.8 billion. Yet the Civil Service Commission (PSC) is peddling a budget deficit and urging teachers to be more patient with the government in dire financial straits, ”Zhou said.

“We have knocked on all doors of government, be it parliament, the parliamentary portfolio committee on primary and secondary education, the parliamentary portfolio committee on salaries and conditions of service for civil servants, the PSC and the president’s office, but nothing materialized. “

He added: “It is clear that the government is playing with the well-being and the lives of teachers. The treatment of teachers in a degrading, discriminatory, dehumanizing and servile manner is unacceptable, especially at a time when other less qualified and less accountable public servants are better off.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President Obert Masaraure said: “The Minister of Finance has just declared a budget surplus of $ 9.8 billion for the first quarter. Where does the money come from? They must use this money to improve teachers’ salaries, ”he asked.

In response, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro, said it was unfair and disappointing that teachers’ unions still view the ministry as an enemy.

“As the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, we are steadfast in our support for improved conditions of service for teachers and it is unfair to call ourselves complacent in this regard,” Ndoro said.

“Our position has always been that improving the conditions of service for teachers means better service delivery of quality and healthy education for all Zimbabweans. However, that doesn’t mean that some teachers should twist the arm of the government by claiming to be incapacitated or attending classes without delivering effectively, but no teacher has spent a single month without pay. “

“Some teachers’ unions need to show restraint and give the government enough time to address their concerns,” he said.

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