“Low Salaries Presents A Dangerous Situation”: Teachers’ Joint Statement
8 June 2020
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08 June 2020
Joint statement by Teacher Unions in Zimbabwe concerning low salaries for teachers

▪️Perturbed about who is paying the difference when teachers are earning a meagre and starvation monthly salary of ZWL$2 800 when the cost of groceries only for a family of six is conservatively pegged at $5 551 and that of other basics at ZWL$2 666 by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe;
▪️Concerned that the level of inflation in Zimbabwe is conservatively said to have risen to around 700%;
▪️Worried that salaries of teachers have remained stagnant in an economic environment where the cost of everything else is continuously pointing northwards because of the galloping three-digit inflation ;
▪️Realising that the economy has re-dollarised and the providers of goods and services are now demanding payment in the more stable currency of United States Dollars yet teachers’ meagre salaries of less than US $34 are denominated in the less stable currency of Zimbabwean dollar;
▪️Reminding the Government that teachers’ monthly salaries were once US $550 before the introduction of bond note, which was a precursor to the the untimely return of the Zimbabwe Dollar;
▪️Noting that teachers have a dispute of right with the employer considering that their salaries were technically reduced, which is no doubt an unfair labour practice because salaries for workers providing a service to the employer as per employment contract can only be improved upon rather than reduced;
▪️Reiterating that salaries for teachers need to paid in United States Dollars than in Zimbabwean Dollars so that they can afford the basic the goods and services on the market;
▪️Stressing the importance for the employer to restore the Purchasing Power Parity of teachers ‘ salaries that obtained prior to October 2017; and
▪️Emphasizing that well paid teachers in safe schools is a must for quality public education.

We, the undersigned Teacher Unions in Zimbabwe, now therefore, urge the Employer to:

  1. Urgently convene a meeting with all teacher unions only with a view to sharing ideas on the way forward before the opening of schools post the covid-19 period;
  2. Engage all teacher unions with a view to urgently reviewing salaries for teachers;
  3. Consider putting in place meaningful education sector-specific allowances that commensurate with their responsibilities and status;
  4. De-bunch teachers’ salaries considering that teachers’ salaries must be a function of their qualifications, responsibilities and experiences;
  5. Treat the issue of the review of teachers’ salaries as an urgent matter;
  6. Pay teachers’ salaries in United States Dollars, which they used to earn before October 2017 in line with the Purchasing Power Parity principle;
  7. Be aware that there is nothing as dangerous as having under-paid teachers in the classrooms because teachers are role models of their communities and society; and
  8. Pay an acceptable covid-19 risk allowance to teachers as in essence they are frontline workers in the education system during .

Jointly signed by