…as ARTUZ threatens 12 days work withdrawal
Teachers unions have resolved to demand invigilation allowances during the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) national examinations together with payment of bonuses in United States dollars which will restore their salaries to the October 2018 scale of US$540.
The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) took to their official Twitter account on November 7, threatening to withdraw invigilation services during examinations if the issue of allowances is not addressed.
“ZIMSEC claims that preparations for exams are going on smoothly. You have forgotten so soon. How do you get ready when Zimsec has not signed any contracts with teachers for invigilation? No allowance, no invigilation,” reads the tweet.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure said if Zimsec is able to pay other teachers to be examiners, it should be prepared to pay those invigilating the exams.
“We demand invigilation allowances separate from our salaries because Zimsec is a separate entity. If the same entity is paying other teachers to be examiners, it should be prepared to pay those invigilating the examinations. We will not hesitate to withdraw our services if our demands are not met,” said Masaraure.
Masaraure also said ARTUZ members will not be intimidated and will not hesitate to protest unless they are attended to because the misery of teachers cannot be ignored.
“From 15 to 27 November we will withdraw our labour begging for the attention of Mthuli Ncube. The misery of teachers cannot be ignored .Festive season is fast approaching, we desperately need a raise .Our families are starving,” said Masaraure.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Dr Takavafira Zhou said their members are defiant and will not invigilate public examinations unless they are paid for the task.
PTUZ on the same day (November 7) took a position over invigilation. Infact our members have defied invigilation of public examinations and a number of them have been brought for disciplinary hearings that failed to take off because Zimsec has no contract with teachers as a parastatal.
It is also Zimsec that failed to compensate teachers involved in accidents while taking public examination papers back to its offices on the basis that it has no contract with them. Zimsec must therefore enter into a contract with teachers, pay for invigilation of public examinations and even Continuous Assessment of Learning Activities (CALA) by teachers. Our members would not invigilate public exams unless they are paid,” said Zhou.
Zimsec Public Relations Officer (PRO) Nicky Dlamini said the organization is waiting for a formal request from the unions because they have only communicated through the media.
“We are still waiting for them to put a formal request to the organization so that we can sit down and reach a common ground. So far they have only communicated through the media,” said Dlamini.
In the same list of resolutions teachers demanded that government should review their salaries back to pre-October 2018 when they used to earn US $540 from US $100 equivalent of the local currency (when converted using parallel market rates) they are currently earning.
The strike is set to go under the banner “12 voices for education campaign” where each day would be dedicated to a particular voice from the community members who are interested in education in order to help the unions amplify their voice for the restoration of pre-October 2018 wages.
Public examinations are around the corner with Ordinary levels starting on November 22 while grade 7 and Advanced levels are set for November 29.