Pay teachers $30k like CIOs, soldiers, police

Dr. Takavafira Zhou, President of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe

By Takavafira Masarira Zhou

Revolutionary greetings cdes on the eve of our D.Day. Tomorrow is our D.Day to remind the employer that we are workers and not slaves. For the avoidance of doubt teachers are not on strike but are incapacitated. We remain ready to report for work any day and any hour provided we are capacitated.

We certainly dont grow money like some form of vegetable that you can get from the garden to cook. We need money in order to report for work. We are not some magicians that can fly to work, neither are we thieves who can steal in order to go to our stations. We are professional workers who need a living wage, and as of now, a rescue package that can enable us to report for work.

Every incapacitated teacher cannot report for work. We certainly cannot subsidise the employer, and neither can we borrow in order to go and teach other people’s children when our own children are at home. How does propagandist Taungana Ndoro think we can budget $14 000 to pay fees, rentals, transport, utility bills and buy basic commodities, among many other things?

We therefore want to remind the disciples of misinformation and pathological liars in the Ministry that lies have short legs.

Let our actions speak louder than our words tomorrow. The current impasse must be blamed squarely on gvt that since November last year has been prevaricating and changing goalposts. Equally to blame is Apex Council for the routine romance with gvt and betrayal of teachers’ cause.

This is no time for individual union decisions but collective action. That FOZEU position has a Ptuz seal by virtue of our logo and Zunde as signatory and it’s part of collective effort.

If gvt want schools to successfully open, it is prudent to urgently pay the $30000 that they paid to soldiers, CIO and police without negotiation. We can then negotiate for the difference from US$520-US$550 when teachers are at work. The restoration of the purchasing power parity of teachers’ salaries is our clarion call.

We realise that the Ministry has turned to empty threats of replacing incapacitated teachers by the 3000 they recruited. How can such a number replace 140 000 teachers, we wonder? For the record there is no threat greater than poverty, misery and penury. Enough is enough, this far and no further. We dont eat any threat. But the gvt cannot underpay teachers in order to incapacitate them, and fire them. We certainly have a dispute of right against the gvt and will always defend our rights by all lawful means possible.

Fozeu is the best way forward. Teachers are their own liberators. Let every teacher be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

The only way forward is going forward with our incapacitation modus operandi.

—-Dr Takavafira M. Zhou is President of PTUZ

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