By Marrian Rushwaya
Zimbabwean teachers’ unions have dismissed as false, claims by government it has engaged and further agreed terms on new wages with the restless educators under the auspices of the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC).
This comes after government announced recently that it had met with the Apex Council in the NJNC where trade unions signed the agreement sealing a recent salary deal that includes a 20% wage increase and other benefits.
However, some prominent teachers groups are adamant they were not involved in the said negotiations, let alone agree to anything with their employer.
Said PTUZ president, Takavafira Zhou in a statement Wednesday, “We have not agreed on anything, government has met with its praise singers who are not necessarily teacher union leaders, such as Alexander, a Matron; David Dzatsunga, who has no constituency in schools.
“The agreement is a high sounding nothing.
“Teachers want US$540, and anything less than that is unpalatable.”
In a statement, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) also said, “Artuz has noted the manufactured agreement between the government of Zimbabwe, who is our employer, and the Apex Council, that purports to represent workers unions.”
Tapedza Zhou, president of the Educators Union of Zimbabwe (EUZ), said the “PSC (Public Service Commission) should stop manipulating the NJNC by congesting it with pseudo unions”.
But Apex Council secretary-general David Dzatsunga said PTUZ and ARTUZ were not part of NJNC.
“The (PTUZ) and (Artuz) are not part of the Apex Council because they opted not to belong to the organisation out of their own will.
“So those members, who have opted out of the NJNC, cannot negotiate with the employer. That explains why the same members will not be able to sit down with the government for salary negotiations,” said Dzatsunga.
Meanwhile, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has suspended over 50 school heads and 32 teachers who had not reported for duty since the opening of schools on the 7th of February.