Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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EUZ demands dignity for teachers

 …as
Govt resist restoration of salaries to US$540

Tinaani
Nyabereka / Ian Kadziya

GWERU

The teachers’ representative board Educators Union of Zimbabwe (EUZ) has urged
Government to take time and assess the wellbeing of educators who are among the
most affected by the difficult economic environment due to their meagre
salaries.

EUZ
was formed out of the ‘Teachers Can’t Breathe Movement’ (TCBM), a forum which
came into being back in 2020 out of growing frustration with authorities’
failure to address their plight.

The
union is reportedly the third largest existing teachers’ representative as it
houses more than 3000 teachers across the nation.

Speaking
to TellZim News after the educators’ engagement meeting in Gweru last week, EUZ
president Tafadzwa Munodawafa said teachers’ measly salaries had degraded their
status in society.

“We
came into being as a result the deteriorating welfare of teachers. The salary
of an ordinary teacher has been rendered meaningless and has turned him into a
beggar.

“We
believe the employer (government) is not doing much to address our welfare
despite the pleas we made as teachers. In urban areas parents are sacrificing
the little they have for children to go to private lessons. Teachers have
become vulnerable to all sorts of offers or gifts and even bribes because they
want to sustain themselves,” said Munodawafa.

She
said shortage of adequate Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was
another major challenge for educators.

“The
equipment is not adequate and we therefore are not safe. When preparations were
done regarding opening of schools on 22 March, we didn’t hear a new plan or
increase in quantities of that equipment and we now hear about coronavirus
outbreak in schools, which is very worrying,” she said.

EUZ
vice president, Tapedza Zhou said the union demanded restoration of teachers’
salaries to US$540 as was the case before the introduction of bond notes.

“Our
desire to emancipate ourselves and the whole teaching fraternity from poverty and
impoverishment is therefore unquestionable. Since last year, we have demanded
and we still are calling for the restoration of our salaries to US$540.

“Through
our unity, we managed to put our employer between a hard place and a rock, and
they yielded a little bit to our pressure but without at all addressing our
prime call for restoration of our living wage,” said Zhou.

TellZimNewshttps://tellzim.com
TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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