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ARTUZ calls for industrial strike

ARTUZ calls for industrial strike

By Edward Mukaro

TEACHERS have warned the Government of an impending industrial strike which is set to start from the 15th – 27th November 2021, as they continue to demand payment of pre-October 2018 salaries.

The Obert Masaraure led Amalgamated Rural Teachers Association of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) in a recent media statement stated that the industrial action may even go beyond the 27th of the month if their demands are not taken seriously.

“As ARTUZ guided by our last NEC resolutions we are going to be withdrawing our labour starting from the 15th of November 2021 ending on 27 November, this industrial action is informed by our consistent calls for the payment of our pre-October 2018 salaries and having separate contracts for invigilation that shall see us being paid in USD.

“If the government does not immediately address our concerns our industrial action will continue until there is resolution to the current crisis, we find ourselves in, we urge all educators and the broader working class to join us in this fight. We should not allow this current gimmick by government to bribe us into pacification,” ARTUZ said.

However, ARTUZ applauded the government’s plans to make ‘Bonus’ payments in the United States dollar currency, but hinted that any move to make the payments using the Interbank exchange rate would be resisted.

 “Whilst this is a welcome move as it temporarily alleviates workers from the dire situation they are in, we are appalled that the bonuses are not capped at the original value of our salaries of pre-October 2018. We also are strongly urging government that any attempts to pay the bonuses at the interbank rate will be resisted and the payment should be in USD across the board.

“The payment of bonuses in USD vindicates the Union’s long-held position that the government of Zimbabwe has the capacity to pay its workers in USD but only lacks commitment. We however take note that this victory could not have been possible had it not been out of consistent agitation by different groups of society including war veterans who recently staged protests in calling the government in addressing their welfare issues and that of the broader working class, we are encouraged by their actions for they are testimony that they are still some out there who still hold sacred the values and ethos of the liberation struggle,” ARTUZ said.

Government and teachers have been at loggerheads since the pre-COVID era on issues to do with wages and working conditions among other issues.

ARTUZ, one of the most vociferous teachers’ bodies in the country is well known for its strong stance on issues to do with teachers’ welfare.

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