Some Zimbabwean teachers complain that they pay a lot of money in subscriptions to the organizations that represent them including the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and the Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (TUZ) – but are not getting much in return while union leaders derive substantial benefits.
Teachers said they collectively pay well over US$500,000 a month in subscriptions but no longer receive vehicle and housing loans or funeral assistance they used to count on.
Sources among teachers said ZIMTA and PTUZ have not been reliable as a source of antiretroviral drugs for HIV-positive members.
As a result, some have pulled out of the unions, they said. Each ZIMTA member pays US$10 a month, while members of the PTUZ and TUZ pay US$8 monthly.
Assuming all members pay their subscriptions, the unions could receive up to US$632,000 a month or more than US$7 million annually.
One teacher in Bindura, Mashonaland Central province, speaking on condition he not be named, said he has decided to quite ZIMTA because it does not deliver benefits.
A teacher in Harare who also spoke on condition he not be named, said he believes teachers unions are short-changing their members.
But ZIMTA Chief Executive Sifiso Ndlovu said his association has rolled out several programs that benefit teachers countrywide.
PTUZ General Secretary Raymond Majongwe said complaining teachers are misleading the nation. “We have several programs that benefit our members which include a funeral scheme which is well-known by almost every Zimbabwean,” Majongwe said.