Teachers have rejected the latest pay rise of at least $19 975 (US$250) offered by the government last Friday saying it is still below the poverty datum line (PDL) which was now pegged at over ZW$20 000.
Unions representing teachers stuck to their US$520 salary demand during the last round of negotiations last week.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou told NewsDay on Sunday that there were a huge salary gap teachers and other government workers like the uniformed forces who allegedly got better pay than other civil servants. He said:
Nothing was done to discuss discrepancies between teachers and other government workers. It is unpalatable to pay teachers $18 000 and then pay other government workers $28 000 to $50 000.
Zhou said the Apex Council (civil service negotiating body) leaders should push for a declaration of a deadlock so that the issue of teachers’ wages is referred for arbitration.
The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu said they were consulting members on the government’s latest salary offer.
Ndlovu however, criticised the government for trying to force its position on teachers’ welfare rather than negotiating with unions in good faith.