GOVERNMENT has withheld salaries for teachers who have not been reporting for duty.
Public Service minister Paul Mavima said government was committed to paying its civil servants, but would not pay teachers who do not want to report for work.
“This government of Zimbabwe has not failed to pay its civil servants even in the hardest of times.
Even teachers who were employed this month got their salaries. Ask them why they were not paid,” Mavima said.
“If they absconded from work, well, that is a good enough reason. How do you expect government to pay teachers who do not want to work?”
Educators Union of Zimbabwe president Tafadzwa Munodawafa yesterday said some teachers had gone for 10 months without pay after government withheld their salaries over absentism.
This, Munodawafa said, was after some school heads submitted names of absconding teachers to the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry.
“Our salaries were also slashed in 2018. Engagements with the government have been ongoing, but it is time that the teaching fraternity must realise that mere engagement will not work,” he said.
“Of course, the employer will use scare tactics to deter us, and we appreciate that, but what should scare teachers the most is poverty that is staring them in the face.
“Other teachers got their salaries basically a week ago, but they are already broke. There is little that the employer can do, and we should mobilise teachers so that they become aware of their labour rights.”
Munodawafa urged teachers’ unions to join hands to end oppression despite their differences.
“The problem that we have is that teachers and their unions are scared. Unions are failing to adequately empower teachers to know their rights.
“As a union, we know that it is not an overnight job, it will take time and we are starting with leaders, then we go down to the ordinary teachers,” he said.