ZIMTA President Tendai Chikowore said :”We are fed up with our low salaries and we have written a stinging letter to Morgan Tsvangirai and President Mugabe telling them that time is up.
“We need US$502 as a minimum salary in order to survive. Just who do they think we are.”
She said this at the just ended meeting held in Harare where more than 300 delegates from around Zimbabwe attended.
Chikowore said however none of the leaders had responded to the stinging letter so far.
She said the teachers would consider industrial action to cripple teaching services once again in Zimbabwe like what happened last year.
However last year some teachers went back to service after being given incentives which this year they said they would refuse to take up.
“The argument that there is no money holds no water,” Chikowore told delegates some of whom were very angry. “Our current demand is for US$502. Where is the money from Chiadzwa going.”
However Education, Sport and Culture Minister, David Coltart, told ZIMTA members that government hd no money to pay them the huge salaries as demanded.
Meanwhile teachers unions in Zimbabwe have refused to unite.
“We will not unite with anybody and anybody who wants to join us can do so,” said Chikowore.
Raymond Majongwe, President of the Progressive Teacers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), had said he wanted all the teacher unions to unite.
There are three teacher unions in the country but ZIMTA and PTUZ are the largest and most vocal.
“This is the first time that we must unite foir the sake of progress,” Majongwe said while addressing delegates in an impromptu speech.
The Education International organisation from Europe which funds ZIMTA had said it would stop funding the organisation if Zimbabwe continued to have too many associations.
Coltart in his address to ZIMTA also pointed out that disunity was killing the teaching profession. “You must unite,” he said. “This is for the sake of progress.”