By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has called upon teachers to unite and fight so their concerns are addressed.
In a press statement ARTUZ blasted fellow teachers unions whose leaders are ‘cowards’.
“At ARTUZ we have made the bold decision of confronting the ungrateful employer using all constitutional means possible. The teachers themselves are equally scared. They do not participate with the enthusiasm we would have expected from them. Teachers are afraid of salary cessations and other possible sanctions. ARTUZ is however a family of radicals, we are proud of the fighters who have taken the bold decision to be part of our family.
“Greed has also rocked the teachers struggle. All Teachers Unions know that the National Joint Negotiating Council, NJNC is flawed and will not deliver a living wage for the teachers. The leaders however choose to stick in there for the benefits. The teachers are also confused, they keep on expecting that one day the barren NJNC will deliver,” ARTUZ wrote.
Teachers are demanding improved salaries and working conditions.
ARTUZ added that fear of incarceration has prevented other union leaders from voicing their demands.
“The majority of the leaders of the multiple teachers Unions are not ready to make the bold choice of declaring and sustaining a protracted struggle for a living wage. They know the risk of arrests, abductions, torture and other sanctions that can be imposed by the state. They are living in fear. The leaders cannot confess their fears to their membership. They posture and write very long statements but they are afraid. The Union Leaders are just cowards.”
While government has snubbed the civil servants making ‘unacceptable’ offers, ARTUZ has vowed to mobilize action. “It is not going to be an easy struggle but we will win if we remain consistent and persistent. Let us not expect much from sister unions, let us rely on our internal capacities,”