The government of Zimbabwe exposes its true nature with each passing moment and not only do they make bold, dumb, illegal and reckless statements but they do it with so much lack of thought and blind confidence. The current state of teacher welfare is in a pitiful state due to poor remuneration and unjust labour practices and environment, and now the government has conjured another act of retrogression through threatening not to pay teachers who fail to report for duty.
Whilst the minister can barely appreciate the practical definition of incapacitation due to the mega salary and benefits he enjoys, ordinary teachers feel the pain every passing second and such actions defeat the whole purpose of employer-employee relations within the confines of the law. This so called “principle” is an ultra vires “principle” that is diminishing the concept of safe labour practices in Zimbabwe. Teachers are incapacitated to report for duty every day or any day if reality is to be put in play but they are sacrificing to be able to keep the sector alive and it is not only insulting that after their sacrifices government has chosen to further punish them by threatening to take away the little they are forcing to survive on.
Teachers refuse to be treated like rogue elements and enemies of the state by a few evil servants who wield authority. If the government proceeds with this course of action teachers will have no option than to resist and defy such an act, the profession has moved from the shell of silence to a shield of resistance against dictatorial overtures, pronouncements and decisions that seek to sink it into further abyss.
Teachers should be properly remunerated in line with the standards agreed between the employer and the employee of USD $520 and not the insulting salaries currently being offered, teachers are now supplementing their income through holding extra lessons and this is an abnormal situation caused by low salaries that cannot sustain their livelihoods. The government is responsible for this crisis and has no one to blame but the man who stares back when they look in the mirror.
ARTUZ will not take this assault lying down but commits to defending teacher dignity and protecting their labour rights without fear. Now is the time to unite and collectively fight for a common purpose which is to halt this persistent attack on the teaching profession and education sector by our government.