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  • Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Teachers and Lecturers

  • Teacher's strike justified
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    February 09, 2007

    The Crisis Coalition wishes to express its solidarity with the Progressive Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) which is calling on all teachers to embark on an 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 have deteriorated over the years. If the teachers’ demands are not met, 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.

    The planned action by teachers comes at a time when Zimbabwe is embroiled in a deep economic and political crisis. At present, teachers are earning an average of ZW$185 000, 00 after the much talked about 300% increment. This falls far below the Poverty Datum Line that is now pegged at $351 000 for a family of five. A teacher’s salary can only buy 70 X 350ml bottles of Coca-cola which is an insult to the nation. It is these people who are entrusted with educating our sons and daughters, these same people who are responsible for breeding tomorrow’s doctors, lawyers and engineers. The teaching fraternity is now under disrepute due to appalling conditions of service and poor salaries

    Decent housing and food are fundamental rights to which every citizen must have access. However, the government has continued to trample upon these rights as the remuneration cannot afford teachers any form of decency. If the educators are dissatisfied with their remuneration, their commitment to educating the nation will be greatly affected. Most experienced teachers have since migrated to other countries in search for greener pastures and those who have remained behind are operating below their potential. The 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.

    Teachers play a pivotal role in national development and as such should be treated with the respect they deserve lest innocent students bear the brunt of the impending strike. Of late the police have taken it upon themselves to derail the efforts by teachers to better their lives by arresting three teachers from Gaza Secondary school in Chipinge for embarking on the go-slow called for by the union. Our position as Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition remains that the government need to address the governance issues, and allow the people free will participation in national issues for this economic crisis to be resolved.

    Visit the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition fact sheet

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