The Zimbabwe Teacher’s Association (ZIMTA) today declared incapacitation and said its members would not be able to report for work when learning resumes next week.
Schools are expected to re-open on 28 September for the first time since March when learning was abandoned in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Only examination classes are due to resume studies after government put in place measures to allow for the safe return of learning.
But, in a retrogressive move that appears politically motivated, ZIMTA said its members were unable, financially, to resume work.
“After a wide consultation all of our 42 000 members across all 10 of the country’s provinces, the ZIMTA national executive hereby declares that all educators will not be able to report for duty on the 28th of September 2020, for the opening of schools as they are incapacitated.”
During the six month Covid-19 break, the teacher representative body did not raise the issue in such dire terms, and instead waited for the 11th hour to strike.
During the break, ZIMTA was happy for its members to be paid, and salaries even increased, for no work by the employer, the government.
ZIMTA secretary general Tapson Nganunu said teachers remained adamant they wanted to be paid their salaries in US dollars.
“(We are) concerned that the economy has self dollarised and transport fares are now charged in USD and Rands in most routes,” Nganunu said.
He said a salary adjustment to at least US$520 would be acceptable.
The threat by ZIMTA, if carried through, would disrupt the December examinations for Grade Seven, Form Four and Six.
In a bid to cushion its employees while salary negotiations were taking place, the government has awarded a US$75 special Covid-19 allowance from June to December and a temporary 50 percent increment on basic salary.- New Ziana