Teachers Express Outrage After Govt Ignores Rescheduled Salary Meeting
The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) has expressed outrage after the Government snubbed a National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting on Monday, 20 March.
Apex Council representatives and officials from the Ministry of Public Service were supposed to meet on 16 March 2023 to discuss civil servants’ salaries.
The meeting was postponed to 20 March but the Government team did not show up for the meeting, a development that has angered teachers.
In a statement released on Monday, ZIMTA demanded that the government should address all teachers’ grievances before the end of this month. Reads the statement:
This statement is an expression of great disappointment in the selective, divisive and iniquitous treatment of teachers that the government has exhibited for the first time in independent Zimbabwe.
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The government has amply demonstrated its dislike for the teaching profession, and the year 2023 goes down in history as the year of evidence of that position.
Teachers are not only disappointed but also angry, and now prepondering on dumping the goodwill they had for the negotiations.
The 2023 season of negotiations was delayed up to late March with the promise that when negotiations start all will be set for meaningful and life-changing dialogue.
This procrastination was tolerated with goodwill and hope but has turned out to be the greatest abuse of trust and utmost good faith.
When the negotiations finally commenced they went on an erratic mode of fits and start and with insignificant and below-expectation awards tabled by Government.
Today, the 20th of March 2023 the negotiators went to the Public Service Commission (PSC) in anticipation of an NJNC meeting after it had been moved from last Thursday 16 March 2023 to this day, Monday 20 March 2023.
Sadly, we must report that the meeting did not take place as the Government Team did not show up.
It took a forced meeting to glean the situation from senior officials in the Ministry of Public Services, Labour, and Social Welfare.
The workers’ negotiating team was advised by these officials that the Government side was seized with the matter and was busy consulting.
The government side was said to be ready to call for the meeting once their internal consultations were through. (A response that sounds too familiar to believe).
ZIMTA, therefore, does not take lightly the government action as it views this as negotiating in bad faith, smacking of unilateralism that leans on skewed social dialogue legislation.
ZIMTA demands that the employer urgently addresses the looming crisis as its membership is already agitated and feeling disparaged by the employer.
Given that the employer paid other sectors enhanced salaries with effect from this March 2023 and that this month our membership received eroded salaries due to increased service providers’ premiums, inflation tax, etc, with some teachers taking home less than ZWL 5000.00.
Our membership is left severely handicapped and incapacitated to report for duty.
ZIMTA, therefore, demands that in the interest of social dialogue the employer addresses this looming crisis by resolving all the outstanding demands as a matter of urgency and inside March 2023.
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