. . . US$100 forward payment an insult
MASVINGO - The Progressive Teacher's Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) slammed government for its favouritism on uniformed forces over other civil servants after the former got their full salaries while teachers received an advance payment of $100 last week.
PTUZ condemned government's divide and rule tactic and said teachers will embark on a massive industrial action, with immediate effect, if their plight is not addressed.
PTUZ president Dr Takavafira Zhou said the government has failed teachers and it was time to take action because negotiating with them will not help in any way.
"It is shocking the way in which government selectively treats its civil servants. The uniformed forces get first preference while teachers suffer. Shamelessly, government has decided to give teachers an advance of US$100 saying it will aid their travelling to work," said Dr Zhou.
"This is shameless and as PTUZ we say no to US$100. Our teachers have to eat, pay bills among other things. How can they go to work when they are hungry? The government doesn't dare uniformed forces but they dare us and we say enough is enough," Dr Zhou added.
He said teachers are not machines who can be oiled up and will be good to go, but are human beings who need resources to operate.
"We have always said the government has money and can get money if it wants to but the problem is that greedy and selfishness has taken over. Teachers are people who have to provide for their families and most of them have taken loans so the $100 will be swallowed by the loan and nothing will be left. We are tired of a government which urinates on us and make us believe it is raining," said Zhou.
He insisted that President Robert Mugabe should trim his cabinet and remove all unnecessary posts that are meant to reward his cronies.
"What is even more infuriating is the recklessness of some of the ministers who talk of huge sums of money as pocket change to them while teachers are suffering," Zhou added.
Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (ZIMTA) secretary general John Mlilo said they have been patient with the government for so long and they cannot keep going to work unless they are taken seriously.
"We have been incapacitated from all directions. We want to be treated equally. This time around we will not go to work unless the government addresses our plight. Our patients has run out.
'We have been patient for a long time. Our pay dates have been shifted over and over again and we have been quiet. Our bonuses have been delayed and we kept quiet. It's been a long time since our remunerations have been reviewed and we are tired," said Mlilo.
The Ministry of labour pleaded with the civil servants to be patient while the government sourced the money for their remunerations.
"The fact of the matter is that the government would like to pay salaries when they are due. There is no reason to delay the salaries but the current cash flow challenges have militated against the government's obligations to civil servants and other stakeholders owed.
"We appeal to the workers to understand the government situation," said acting labour minister Supa Mandiwanzira.news