Striking teachers receive suspension notices

The Chronicle

Bongani Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter
CIVIL servants have pleaded with their employer to reverse the suspension of striking teachers, who started receiving their suspension notices yesterday, as workers’ unions pressed for more demands to the Government.

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) confirmed that its members have started receiving suspension letters as earlier stated by the Government.

“Zimta has started receiving suspension letters, which have been handed down to its members and, as earlier on advised, all efforts are being and will be made to protect the interests of our members,” Zimta president Mr Richard Gundani said in a statement yesterday.

He said their executive will meet today to map a way forward.

This comes as the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC), which comprises Government and civil servants’ representative body, the Apex Council met in Harare yesterday to deliberate further on the Treasury offer on conditions of service for public sector workers.

The Treasury this week announced a 20 percent salary increase for all civil servants plus an additional US$100 cash allowance, as well as school fees allowance among other non-monetary benefits.

While civil servants are agreeable to most of conditions of service, some teachers have remained on strike.

The Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) said in the NJNC meeting civil servants tabled their desire for the US$100 allowance to separate from their local dollar earnings and that the 20 percent increase be calculated from gross salary paid.

Below are some of the resolutions:

“A 20 percent review on gross emoluments (basic salary + transport allowance + housing allowance + representation where applicable) backdated to 1 January 2022 and to be paid on February 2022 pay date.

“Introduction of US$100 salary to be paid in hard currency across the board with effect from 1 March 2022. This is up and above the ZWL$ salary and continuation of payment of US$75 Covid-19 Allowance for civil servants, payable in hard currency with effect from 1 January 2022. This brings the total USD monthly pay component to US$175,” read the statement.

On non-monetary incentives, the Treasury had said that teachers will benefit from payment of school fees by Government for up to three biological children per teaching family with an upper limit of $20 000 per child per term to be paid directly to the school.

However, Civil Servants suggested this benefit should cut across board.

According to the statement, civil servants have requested Government to reverse the suspension of teachers that failed to report to work on the opening day on Monday.

They also implored the employer to bring back the effective date of implementation of the US$100 package pay date from the 1st of March to 1 January 2022 as well as extend the school fees benefit to the rest of civil service.

“However, the agreement could not be signed due to a sticking issue regarding the Government’s intention to suspend teachers who failed to report for duty due to incapacitation,” reads the statement.
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Article Source: The Chronicle

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