On Friday 17 January 2020, teachers received a mockery of a salary. The government had the audacity to pay us the old 2019 salary in this hyperinflationary environment. They paid civil servants an average of RTGS$ 900, which is around 6.5% of their real salaries.
This should be a wake up call to our Cdes in the civil service. Our Cdes in the army and police force, take note that this government cares less for your welfare, they will abuse you and never feed you. Your children, just like our children cannot access education. Yourselves and your dependents, just like us and our dependents, cannot access healthcare, food and shelter among other basics.
Immaturity and stupidity can be demonstrated by allowing those who are starving you to deploy you to attack some of us who are on a revolutionary duty, the duty is to bring food to your table. We want to see smiles on the faces of your children. We want to be proud of you when you roam our neighbourhoods and proudly boast that you are our security officers. Well fed, well dressed, patriotically defending our nation from the real enemies of the state.
Your role going forward is to calmly and silently allow other civil servants to fight your struggle for a living wage. We promise not to fail you and your families.
Fellow teachers we note with great concern that out of both inertia and immaturity, some of you reported for duty in the first week. We feel sorry for those among us who are now accustomed to the chains of oppression, that you no longer realise that you are in chains. We will however patiently ask you to walk then you might realise the limmitations of your normal abnormality. There is no justification whatsoever for us to present our miserable selves in front of expecting learners. Those who continue to attend to class are bringing the name of our profession into disrepute. They are endangering the integrity of our great profession and destroying the future of our children.
We call upon real teachers of integrity to stand up and boldly declare that enough is enough. We should urgently close all schools and force the lot occupying government positions to urgently address our pressing legitimate needs. Mthuli’s utterances to the effect that government has better things to focus on than our salaries, borders on criminality. We should not allow such misinformed Ministers to destroy our social services under our watch.
We salute the revolutionaries who took heed of our call to stay home. We note that some sections of our society are citing the 14 day legal provision to force you to go back to work. That will be unwise and self defeating. Look at how the doctors ignored all rules of exploitation including court rulings, demanding a living wage. If we are going to win this war, we cannot play according to their rules. We have to tear the rule book and show the real proletariat anger which has won countless battles globally. No pay no work simple.
To the parents of our learners, we invite you to join our fight for preserving the integrity of our education. We cannot betray you and the future of our innocent learners by pretending to be teaching when we are not. We will only teach when conditions are right, we are confident of victory. We will compensate for all lost time when we finally win. Meanwhile we will be assisting your children for free from our homes and other public spaces.
To His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and your government, we remind you of your constitutional obligation to provide education to the people of Zimbabwe. Pay us a living wage so that we can deliver for our learners.
Week two the fight for a living wage will be escalated. No retreat no surrender.
Source: Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)