Frequently Asked Questions on Teachers Industrial Action
Thursday; 3 May 2018
*1. Why strike now?*
Conditions of service for teachers have been deteriorating since the last salary increment in 2012 which makes it more than 5 years ago. Efforts at engagement with government have yielded nothing with the employer showing lack of goodwill. In this light we are using the opening up of democratic space brought about by the demise of Robert Mugabe in November 2017 to exercise collective job action as set out in section 65 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
*2. Why not give the government time?*
The problems facing teachers especially in rural schools can not be deferred any further as they have reached a breaking point. There is need for urgent 100% salary increment, 75 % of salary rural allowance, restoration of vacation leave and safe schools. These are urgent matters that cannot be postponed any further.
*3. Why not give Apex Council & NJNC process a chance*
Firstly APEX Council was created as a voluntary negotiation platform for all civil servants sector unions. However, over the years it has been hijacked by government sponsored outfits and has since become improperly constituted rendering it illegal. In any event teachers constitute the bulk of civil servants and have since formed the Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Unions (FOZEU) to engage government. The NJNC was rendered null and void in 2013 when the new constitution was enacted. Thus we can not engage government through illegal platforms and hope to get binding deals. It is an exercise in futility.
*4. Where will government get the money*
The government as employer must mobilise the resources. In any event the government must prioritize expenditure of its resources rather than to blow money on worthless endeavours like buying posh cars and international trips.
*5. Are you not disadvantaging learners*
We are calling on all parents, guardians, learners and generality of Zimbabweans to stand with their teachers to save the education sector from total collapse. Unmotivated teachers cannot deliver the quality of education which our nation requires. We don’t even want to waste one day of learning as the task for government is simply that of meeting very minimal demands.
*6. Will teachers not be victimised*
We know the government will attempt to victimise teachers over their lawful actions using thuggish tactics. But we will protect our members through the law and by mass organisation ahead of the full blown strike. Further we will press the government to abide by the provisions of the Constitution which is the supreme law of the land. The constitution provides for the right to collective industrial action and this is what we will [email protected]