Congratulations to the teachers of Zimbabwe for once again defying the odds and embarking on a successful job action. Percentage attendance in schools dropped to an average of 57% across the country. 92% of the members of Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ took heed of the call to withdraw labour. From the pool of ARTUZ membership only school heads are in schools.
The ongoing 12 days of action is also receiving massive support and endorsement from the nation at large. Today was a day for the voices of the youths who support education. Hundreds of voices have been received from youths across the country supporting the job action. Of particular note is a voice note from a young person who chose to be anonymous who said, “The government of Emmerson Mnangagwa is determined to destroy our education, we should unite and fight back, not only through withdrawing labour but even flooding the streets.”
Teachers are receiving threats through voice calls from unknown numbers. The callers are accusing ARTUZ members of pushing a regime change narrative. ARTUZ Legal, security and welfare departments are on high alert to provide solidarity to affected members.
The government is still to formally respond to our call for restoration of pre October 2018 salaries. However random government voices have quoted in different media spaces labeling the 12 day job action as retrogressive. The only retrogressive thing we have witnessed are the slave wages being earned by teachers. Such slave wages have reduced teachers to destitute.
Our demands are genuine, clear and legitimate ;
- Restore pre-October 2018 salaries.
- Pay teachers for invigilation public examinations.
The Union will keep the world posted on any developments. We have prepared for these 12 days and we will escalate the fight as days progress.