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No Pay Increase for Zimbabwe's Civil Servants As National Strike Sputters

  • Gibbs Dube

One Harare teacher who declined to be identified said most teachers will not join the PTUZ strike Wednesday as they risk losing monthly incentives of US$40 to US$200 paid by various schools

Thousands of civil servants received their pay checks on Tuesday without the increase in salary promised by President Robert Mugabe, but indications are that they will not heed a call to strike by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.

The PTUZ put out a statement saying some teachers were gearing up to strike. But the Zimbabwe Teachers Association said its members would not join the strike.

Teachers reached by VOA said that even though their salaries have not yet increased, they are still hoping for a pay rise, so are remaining on the job.

One teacher in the Harare suburb of Highfield who declined to be identified said most teachers will not join the PTUZ strike called for Wednesday as they do not want to risk losing monthly incentives of US$40 to US$200 paid by schools with parental help.

The teacher said a strike at this point is premature “because salary negotiations are going on between state employee representatives and and government.”

Another teacher in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city, who also declined to be identified, said the situation is normal in the city and many teachers feared being victimized by education authorities if they joined the PTUZ strike.

Phillip Rudanda, president of the National Association of Primary School Headmasters, said most teachers showed up for work Tuesday after being paid and are likely to ignore strike calls. “We sympathize with struggling teachers and it appears as if few teachers will go on strike,” Rudanda told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube.

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