The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), has informed the Public Service Commission (PSC) that its members are now incapacitated and therefore not able to travel to their work stations when schools reopen on September 28th.
In a letter dated September 17th, ARTUZ secretary-general Robson Chere informed PSC director Vincent Hungwe that teachers need an urgent review of their salaries in United States dollars, saying the current situation was no longer tenable. Wrote Chere:
This letter serves to inform you that as ARTUZ members we are incapacitated to report back for duty and survive in this harsh economic climate heightened by COVID 19.
Exam classes are supposed to commence on the 28th of September. We can no longer afford transport to our duty stations, to buy basic foodstuffs, to pay for rentals, water, electricity bills and other essential services now priced in USD.
Our paltry salaries in RTGS cannot sustain us for a whole month or even a week. We hereby declare incapacitation.
We request an urgent review of our salaries in United States Dollars, USD or RTGS at the prevailing Interbank rate (with a monthly review) from the government.
We urge the employer to come up with an urgent solution to avert our situation.
This comes after salary negotiations between the Government and civil servants representatives hit a brick wall on Thursday after the latter rejected a 40 per cent increment which would see the lowest-paid worker taking home ZWL$4 800.