REGIS CHINGAWO IN MASVINGO
Zimbabwe’s teachers have rejected the 45% salary increment offered by the government saying the offer will not extricate the educators from their financial woes, Business Times can report.
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president, Takavafira Zhou said the government should pay teachers’ salaries equivalent to US$520 a month.
Zhou said prices of basic goods and services continue to skyrocket eroding teachers buying power.
“The Public Service Commission (PSC) must give teachers salaries that are sustainable. The increment they are offering civil servants with the effect from July is not adequate as by the time we reach that month, basic commodities prices will in turn be increased and that has been the trend over the years,” Zhou said.
Zhou added: “As PTUZ we are not comfortable with the PSC assertion that civil servants, teachers included, will be awarded a 45% salary increment while negotiations continue. Negotiations were supposed to have been started in January this year. What it would mean is that when the new salary structures will be effected that will mean a teacher who was earning ZWL$13 000 will be taking home ZWL$18 000, which is equivalent to less than US$200. Our position as PTUZ is that the government must give teachers salaries that are equivalent to US$520 for them to be able to survive.”
PTUZ is urging the government to engage in dialogue with teachers so that their salaries are at par with the rest of the civil service.
The government said it was going to effect a 45% salary increment for all workers in the public sector, raising the cumulative pay adjustments this year to 70% after having adjusted salaries by 25% in April this year. The last adjustment resulted in the lowest paid civil servant taking home an equivalent of US$205 using the official exchange rate.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister, Paul Mavima recently said July salary adjustment will be effected while negotiations with workers representatives continue to take place.