ZIMTA threatens to lead teachers’ strike

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Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Amon Murwira faced with a challenge to address teachers' plight.

The Matabeleland North chapter of the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) says it will carry out industrial action until salaries are paid in United States dollars.

Traditionally, ZIMTA has always backed government policies and this announcement is likely an attempt to take advantage of the fact that schools in Zimbabwe are opening next week.

A letter addressed to the ZIMTA National Secretary General on Thursday, stated that  members will go on strike owing to the current economic environment.

“This report serves to inform, direct and declare to the national leadership on the position of members in Matebeleland North in relation to the abrupt changes in the prevailing economic challenges that are being left unchecked by the employer,” the statement said.

“We therefore as [Matabeleland North] given the issues raised above declare that members will not report for duty until salaries are paid in US dollars,” it said.

The letter signed by Provincial Secretary for Matabeleland North, Munodawafa Tafadzwa says issues regarding “salary erosion”, transport and cost of living are the main reasons for the declaration of industrial action.

“Commodities now have gone up. Medication has three tier pricing system. Building materials are beyond the reach of all. The cost of sending our children to school is proving to be impossible as uniforms are no longer affordable to a simple teacher. Boarding schools for our children are beyond reach,” it said.

The ZIMTA Matabeleland wing has joined calls for payment in US dollars alongside other teachers’ associations such as the Progressive Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe and the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe.