By Diana Gondongwe
MASVINGO – Just a few days after government and the Apex Council agreed on a so-called once-off RTGS$400 cushion for all civil servants, many teachers in Masvingo have silently embarked on a go-slow as they plead incapacitation due to eroded salaries.
Although there are still negotiations between the two parties on the cost of living adjustment, the $400 cushion has been widely criticised as a mockery for government employees who had demanded a salary equivalent to US$475.
TellZim News has learnt that teachers at some schools just clock in at schools as a formality but do not do the work expected of them.
A few weeks ago, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) threatened that its members would soon report for work for only four days per month of government failed to adjust teachers’ salaries.
When contacted for comment Masvingo Provincial Education Director (PED) Zedius Chitiga promised to investigate the issue.
“I have not received any reports about teachers not working. Tell me schools where this is happening and I will do my investigations,” said Chitiga.
PTUZ president Dr Takavafira Zhou said teachers’ salaries needed to be equivalent to their pre-October 2018 US$450 for them to work as usual.
“Our reasoned opinion is that the government must pay teachers an equivalent of their pre-October US$450 and on top of that the government must pay a rescue package of US$200 per month.
“Our teachers must also be provided with land to build houses, and three children of every teacher must be exempted from paying school fees,” said Zhou.
October 2018 marked the beginning of increased inflationary pressures in the economy, leading to government dumping its ridiculous 1:1 declaration of parity in the value of the bond note and the US dollar.