Harare – Teachers have vowed to intensify their strike despite claims by government that their industrial action was a flop.
In a statement issued by the country’s two main teacher unions, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) and Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) the educators said at least 80% of their members were on strike and now they expect the turn up to increase.
“We also note that the government has not positively responded to our call for an improvement into our members’ working conditions and remuneration,” read part of the statement signed by Raymond Majongwe and Richard Gundani
“At least 80% of our members have heeded the call. The industrial action intensifies tomorrow the 8th of February 2019 and we call upon all our members not to set foot at schools” the union leaders stated.
The industrial action was as a result of failed talks between government and its workers.
Civil servants want a pay rise of up to $1900 for the least paid worker but government offered 18% pay rise which the teachers rejected.According to the joint statement they have been reports that some teachers were harassed for taking part.
“In some institutions school heads, Ministry functionaries, security agents and political activists have been harassing our members who are legally taking part in the strike action,” the statement read.
The Unions have pledged to take legal action locally and internationally if the harassment continues.
“If the harassment continues we will not hesitate to take legal and other actions to protect the rights of our members locally and internationally” reads part of the statement.
This comes at a time Zimbabwe’s economy is on its limbs with cash and fuel shortages, high cost of living among other things.
The government tried to engage the teachers but the efforts seemed fruitless.