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  • Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Teachers and Lecturers

  • Majongwe raided...teachers to strike
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    February 01, 2007

    Police in Harare raided the home of Raymond Majongwe of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) to pre-empt the strike by teachers. The officers interrogated Majongwe's wife wanting to know the where-abouts of Majongwe and were told that he was in Mutare. Majongwe was supposed to report to the Harare Central Police station before 8am today.

    It is disturbing to note that the government and its surrogates are bent on derailing efforts by progressive forces like the teachers union to demand better salaries and working conditions. The teachers' union is calling on all teachers to embark on a go-slow industrial action from the 31st of January to the 2nd of February 2007. The industrial action is to press for, among other demands, better salaries and working conditions that seem to have deteriorated over the years. If the teachers' demands are not met within 14 days, PTUZ has announced that teachers will embark on a full scale strike on the 5th of February 2007. The union has advised teachers not to succumb to threats and intimidation from authorities or state security agents. In an advert from the PTUZ, Majongwe stressed the need for teachers 'to remain steadfast even in adversity.'

    At present teachers are earning a meager $84 200, 24 after the much talked about 300% increment. This falls far below the Poverty Datum Line that is now pegged at $348 000 for a family of five. The teaching fraternity is now under disrepute due to such humiliating salaries. Most experienced teachers have since migrated to other countries in search of greener pastures. Quality of education in Zimbabwe over the past six years has continued to decline and no new strategies have been implemented to revive the industry.

    The Crisis Coalition seeks to remind the government that education is inalienable, basic and democratic right that is fundamental for human development and in this regard, it should meet the demands of the teachers before innocent students suffer.

    Hospital supporting staff strike
    On another disturbing note, support staff at Harare's major hospital has downed tools demanding salaries that are in tandem with the ever rising inflation rate and standard of living. The support staff which includes mortuary assistants, clerks and general hands, were shocked to receive a paltry increment ranging from $2000 to $7000 at the end of January. The staff at Harare hospital reportedly evacuated the hospital in protest to the salaries they had received.

    The staff's demands come after nurses and other hospital staff received salary increments. A visit to the hospital depicts a sorry site as one is hit by a heavy smell of death and decay. Yesterday, people had no choice but to look for their dearly departed ones from the mortuary without assistance from the morticians. The number of deceased people in the mortuaries is higher than the carrying capacity of the morgue owing to the sharp rise in death rate and the on going strike by medical personnel. The Crisis Coalition continues to call on the government to look into these strikes as a matter of urgency.

    Visit the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition fact sheet

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