Teachers’ unions slammed the government for docking salaries for teachers who earlier in the year failed to turn up for work citing incapacitation. Teachers who spoke to CITE confirmed that money was deducted from their May salaries.
“I only got paid ZWL$15 000, about $10 000 was deducted. It is really not fair considering that we have been demanding a salary increase for a long time,” said one teacher.
Teachers are demanding a basic salary of US$540 but the cash strapped government has failed to meet the demand resulting in teachers not reporting for duty.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president, Obert Masaraure said they are yet to establish the main reason for the deductions.
“Teachers are complaining that money was deducted from their payslips, we are still to establish why the government has chosen to deduct resources from the already incapacitated teachers,” said Masaraure.
“This is coming at a time when we are complaining about the rising cost of living in the context of stagnant salaries, the same employer goes on to punish members and deduct more from their salaries.”
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) Programs Officer, Ladistous Zunde said they have also received reports from their members and are waiting for copies of their payslips.
“We are still receiving reports but we don’t have material evidence to substantiate the reasons are there, we are waiting for our members to forward to us copies of their payslips so that we are able to deduct the major reasons why those deductions were made,” he said.
“The deductions are ranging from ZWL$4000 to ZWL$14 000, so we are not yet clear whether this is the work of the Public Service Commission regarding those members that had actually absented themselves from work as a result of incapacitation.”
Zimbabwe National Teachers Union (ZINATU) chief executive officer, Manuel Nyawo described the move as a sad development.
“Honestly, how can we have deductions of such amounts from teachers who are already failing to put food on their tables. What pains us most is that the deductions came as a shock and have left and rendered us poorer than before,” said Nyawo.
The Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Services, Labour and Social Welfare, Cliford Matorera said when teachers absent themselves from work those days are considered as leave without pay.
“When they absent themselves, it means they are away from work illegally, so the pay for days they are away from work will be deducted,” said Matorera.