By Nomusa Garikai | School closed end of March, at the on set of the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of corona virus, have just reopened. Many teachers are refusing to go back to work until they are paid living wages.
The Poverty Datum Line wage for a family of five is US$650 per month. Some teachers are paid as little as US$30 per month which is less than 5% of the PDL.
”They (teachers) have raised their concerns and we are taking these concerns to the President and Cabinet. We have heard their concerns, but we also appealed to them to be realistic in their concerns and consider the economic conditions prevailing in the country,” said Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima.
“The salary negotiations between the Government and the National Joint Negotiating Council are ongoing. But Government decided to cushion its workers, while waiting for these negotiations to be finalised and the appeal to civil servants is to be patient while waiting for the outcome.”
The sheer arrogance of this Zanu PF government beggars belief!
Is government being realistic in paying someone 5% of the PDL wage?
The issue of slave wages was on the table before the lockdown six months ago; why has government failed to have this matter resolved during that period?
Of course, the teachers, like everyone else, are aware of the prevailing economic conditions in the country. They know the prices of basic necessities such as food and fuel are soaring, there are the usual shortages of cash and medicine, inflation is soaring, etc., etc. They are worried sick.
With year on year inflation rate now at 838% or month on month rate at 35%, they will need to get a 35% wage increase every month just to stay where they are! They know that will not happen and hence the reason they are asking the wages to be paid in US$ or pegged to the US$.
The much anticipated flood of new investors and lenders in response to President Mnangagwa’s clarion “Zimbabwe is open for business!” call has never materialised. This Zanu PF government must now accept that it has failed to revive the country’s economy, team inflation, etc., etc.
It is unrealistic to expect teachers to live on US$30 per month. Without the teachers, Zimbabwe’s education service has but totally collapsed. The same has happen to the health service and other sectors.
What kind of nation is this with no education for the children? No function health care? And the timing could not have been worse, given we are in the middle of a serious pandemic.
The economic situation is Zimbabwe has become intolerable; teachers cannot be expected to survive on air and the nation cannot be expected to accept a future with no education, health care, etc.
“Teachers must be realistic with the wage demands!” No Minister Mavima, it is government that is not being realistic, teachers cannot survive on fresh air alone! – SOURCE: zsdemocrats.blogspot.com