Senior Education Officials' "USD Allowances" Divide Teachers - Report

1 year agoTue, 04 Oct 2022 09:04:34 GMT
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Senior Education Officials' "USD Allowances" Divide Teachers - Report

Teachers are reportedly divided over reports that the government is giving senior civil servants in the education sector are being given travel and subsistence allowances pegged in United States dollars (US$).

The senior officials are getting per diems of up to US$125 per day, which is paid in local currency for attending meetings, chairing disciplinary meetings and other events in the education ministry, NewsDay reported.

Teachers who spoke to NewsDay accused the government of offering perks to the senior education officers to encourage them to intimidate and frustrate efforts to push the government to restore pre-October 2018 salaries that were around US$540. 

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure claimed:

A layer of elite civil servants is being created to strengthen ‘supervision’ of the majority of civil servants. That layer is enjoying special perks and is being deployed to scuttle any collective job actions. Government has divided teachers through the introduction of a layer of teachers who are promised to enjoy economic privileges, professional exceptionalism and social protection. The group named Teachers for ED is being used as a vehicle to bastardise trade unionism.

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Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said:

Senior officials in the Education ministry get per diems on several occasions during the course of the month while teachers are in class, working. 

Majongwe added that the senior teachers were getting USDs and have, as a result, been pocketing way more than what teachers are earning, which is somewhat demoralising teachers in class.

Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said there was nothing amiss in giving allowances to senior members because it was the norm across all other government departments, as well as in the private sector.

He added that allowances in US dollars could be from partners including the British Council, Unicef or World Vision and the government “can’t stop them.”

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