By Tendai Mukaro
Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Unions (FOZEU) have called on the government to withdraw its threat to the incapacitated teachers who will fail to report for duty on when First Terms opens.
They expressed their disappointment on how the government has ignore their grievances, excluded them from important decisions, and threats.
In statement Secretary for Public Service Commission Jonathan Wutawuwashe said that the government will “punish the civil servants who will not report for duty and apply the principle of no work no pay”.
“All threats about punishing incapacitated teachers who will fail to report for duty when schools open which we have come across in the media should be withdrawn,” read FOZEU statement.
“No one is seriously talking about improving the pathetic salaries and welfare of teachers as a pre requisite of opening schools.”
“Shocked about the continued unilateralism by government officials, circumventing the trade Union that are key stakeholders in the education sector, the unilateralism is evidenced by imposition of a warped school calendar without consulting the Teacher Unions who represent the implementers of any government policy.”
The Teachers Union went on to say that they are ready to open schools as long as their grievances are met arguing that it will be difficulty to stand in front of school children with an empty stomach.
“Teachers are ready to open schools any day but only after the above minimum expectations have been settled.” FOZEU said.
“Right now, teachers listen to the language from their pockets and wallets more than the threats from the MoPSE or PSE”.
They described their salaries as a mockery in a dollarised economy.
“Teacher’s salaries are now a mockery. A gross salary ranging between ZWL$ 14000 and 19000 RTGS in an economy that has dollarised is an insult to the teaching profession”.
“What is more worrisome is that our counterparts in other government departments or sector are earning double of what a teacher is getting yet teaching is the mother of all professions”.
FOZEU also challenged government to motivate its workers through non-monetary incentives in order to boost morale in their workers.
“Government should commit itself to giving teachers non-monetary incentives in order to motivate them, currently the morale of teachers is at its lowest, with many teachers having mentally resigned.”
Teachers are also calling on the government to provide them with reasonable Covid 19 allowances as well as provide a safe environment at schools from the deadly pandemic.