ACTION

  1. All teachers withdraw your labour demanding a living wage.
  2. If you are participating in job action Send a WhatsApp message to +263 772 430 660 stating, “Red October”
  3. Non Teachers support our cause on social media #NoToSlaveWages

Day 1 was a success beyond measure, the response from the teachers was overwhelming, and thousands of our teachers participated in our job action. The reactionary Unions were forced to abandon their comfort zones realizing the magnitude of the momentum generated. Our government’s propaganda machinery was on overdrive trying to divert, deflect and mislead. State Institutions of violence were deployed in full force, our state is shameless. Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ remains committed to the transformation of the livelihoods of the teachers and engendering the setting up of a democratic structure and process of collective bargaining.

We heartily thank our revolutionary members who took part in day 1 of the job action. We encourage them to remain resolute in face of adversity. A new breed of revolutionary Trade Unionists has been born, they have shaken off the docility tag usually associated with teachers. There is hope in this group of firebrand trade unionists who are also highly creative and highly committed to the emancipation of the working class.

The ongoing job action was a success in several districts across the country with Nkayi recording the highest number of teachers who participated. The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavhima was forced to embark on a spying mission, the not so honorable Minister was exposed after sneaking into our Nkayi District Job Action WhatsApp group. In Zvimba and several other Districts, School leaders and State Security Agents were harassing teachers who participated in the job Action. Urban Teachers also took part in the job action.

Response from other Unions

It is encouraging that a Sister Union has adopted our tattered shirts campaign which was originated from ARTUZ Matebeleland North team. Under the campaign teachers report to duty in tattered clothes to symbolize poverty. We hope the members of that sister Union will step up and withdraw their labour.

The APEX Council grouping of reactionary yellow Unions regrouped and has been sending out vague messages. We are glad they are planning to hold a press conference today at 0900hrs, we hope the body will shake off the puppet tag and join the battle for a living wage.
Government response.

The government convened a pity party under the auspice of the illegal and dysfunctional National Joint Negotiating Council, NJNC. The meeting was much ado about nothing. The communique issued after the so called negotiations was a big disappointment as they failed to articulate a clear way forward on the salary crisis.Minister Mavhima reduced himself to an amateur spy joining our social media groups pretending to be one of us. The non-assuming Minister latter took his joke to the voice of America news channel studio 7. The out of sorts Minister labelled us a “hot headed Union.” He also revealed that he is pacifying other Sister Unions. We condemn the irresponsible utterances by Mavhima which are designed to incite ZANU PF militias and state institutions of violence to victimize our members.

School authorities were given explicit instructions to harass our members. Our revolutionary Cdes were being forced to write reports and were receiving threatening phone calls. The heavy security deployment across the country was a desperate attempt to instill fear among our members and the generality of the citizenry. Our rabid state is using coercion as a tool of control.

Way forward

Our members are severely incapacitated and the incapacitation has become an occupational hazard. The incapacitation is threatening both our livelihoods and the wellbeing of Trade Unions. We therefore recommit ourselves to the following.

  1. A sustained and prolonged job action until our demands are met
  2. Uniting all teachers and the broader working class in the fight for a living wage.
  3. Setting up countrywide District Poverty Salary Camps as centers for coordination
  4. Render solidarity to all members of the working class during the industrial action and beyond
  5. Conduct robust political education for the working class

Our demands are as follows:

  1. Interbank rate indexed salaries benchmarked on our October 2018 earnings
  2. Resignation or dismissal of the Bishop of Austerity measures, Professor Mthuli Ncube

We are shelving other demands and pressing ahead with these two which have to be urgently addressed.

Source: Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)