Teachers’ strike to go ahead: Unions

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

HARARE-Teachers associations have said their members will be going ahead with strike on Tuesday despite claims in the state media that the unions were divided over the demonstration.

On Monday, The Herald reported that civil servants were divided over   tomorrow’ s  industrial action with  most unions representing civil servants according to APEX council boss  Cecilia Alexander opting to shelve industrial action  for talks.

But speaking to Radio VOP, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Dr Takavafira Zhou   said that teachers are going ahead with strike despite that some civil servants unions are not backing the industrial action.

“All teachers’ unions have agreed that   the teachers’ strike is going ahead despite that we have some civil servants  we know augment their salaries with bribes that are not joining us,” confirmed the PTUZ boss.

Zhou also blasted the APEX council chairperson for being comprised and not qualified to lead the negotiations with government over their welfare.

“Ms Alexander is compromised because she has been given a promotion on the board of NSSA so her hands are tied to negotiate in good faith.

“She is merely a matron at a primary school and how can you expect a matron without even 3 ‘O’ levels to head a group of civil servants to negotiate with government for better remuneration,” fumed Zhou.

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association(ZIMTA) chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu was also quoted confirming tomorrow’s strike.

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Association president Obert Masaraure who is out on bail facing a subversion charge   also told this publication that the association is also joining in the industrial action.

“We will be joining our like-minded comrades in Tuesday strike as we push for better working conditions,” said Masaraure.

Teachers have been demanding a wage increase of at least $1 700 dollars as they claim that their current measly salaries have been eroded by the prevailing price hikes.

The APEX council which is a joint negotiation forum of unions representing civil servants have over the years been accused of   foiling teacher’s demands to government hence the teachers unions have decided to   embark on the industrial action without the blessing of the Apex council which is insisting on continued dialogue.