As the country celebrated Workers Day on May 01, of Zimbabwe National Student Union secretary general Tapiwanashe Chiriga said it was high time students on work related learning got fair compensation as some of them were currently either underpaid or not paid at all.
In a statement, Chiriga said there were a number of students going to work daily during these harsh economic conditions but were not paid fiarly for their efforts.
“We have students who are expected to turn up to work in these harsh conditions every day but they are not properly remunerated. Students on work related learning are not slaves. They deserve fair compensation for the toil and labour they provide for companies.
“They deserve a fair wage just like any other employee. They come to work and perform duties just like any other member of the organisation. Not paying students their dues is unfair labour exploitation,” said Chiriga.
He said students must always research more about the organisation that they want to work for and also be able to negotiate good contracts with the organisations.
“Students must always research more about the organisations they intend to work for before they start working. They must also negotiate contracts knowing fully that they are not slaves and should make their desire to be compensated fairly enough,” he said.
Chiriga urged government and universities to work closely together in monitoring the working conditions of students on attachment.
“Government and universities should work closely in approving organisations and companies that engage students for attachment and make sure that they monitor the working conditions of the students on attachment,” he said.
Many companies, even those that can afford it, are not paying students on work related learning; taking advantage of the increase in university and college enrolment which is not matched by expansion in industrial activity.