A top official of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said the union is ready to send its 123,000 members into the streets because of a deadlock with the National Aids Council over distribution of medical benefits from the national AIDS Levy.
The PTUZ and two other teacher organizations say their members should be assigned a high priority in the distribution of life-saving anti-retroviral drugs because AIDS has had such a huge impact on their profession. But the council said teachers cannot be given special treatment under the programs funded by the AIDS Levy on salaries.
The union’s executive is to meet late this week in Masvingo to decide its next step.
But PTUZ Secretary General Raymond Majongwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the union was ready to go into the streets, and that teachers might also withhold AIDS levy payments if agreement is not reached.