By Kudakwashe Vhenge
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has dismissed claims by cabinet ministers, Paul Mavhima and Cain Mathema that it is a political entity.
The claims were made by the Minister of Public Service, Paul Mavhima during a negotiation meeting that was held by teachers and government.
Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Ambassador Cain Mathema was also part of the meeting.
“As ARTUZ, we are further saddened by Professor Paul Mavhima’s utterances during the meeting of misconstruing us as a apolitical entity yet we clearly represent the genuine grievances of teachers. Such level of thinking by a labor Minister is of an agenda of trying to kill trade unionism and continue to oppress the hard working teachers,” ARTUZ said in a statement.
If the demands of the teachers are not met, they are not going back to work.
Teacher’s are demanding improved salaries and working conditions.
“We will only report for duty when our demands are met. We are glad that Minister Mavhima clearly said no teacher will be fired for being incapacitated. We urge parents to withdraw their kids from schools until our salary dispute by the government is resolved. Sending kids to schools when teachers are not available is a great risk of contacting COVID -19 and also promoting learners to engage in unearthical conducts,” ARTUZ added.
The demands of ARTUZ are going to be submitted for discussion in cabinet.
They are making a demand of US$520 for their salary and will go back to work when this is addressed.
At the World Teachers Day, Robson Nikita said that progressive unions and organisations should join ARTUZ.
“I call upon as l herby do all progressive unions and organisations to join ARTUZ as we educate and enlighten this government about labor relations and basics conditions of employment. We refuse to be capable in pretending to teach when in actual fact academic genocide will be taking place in our schools,” he said.