Following the teachers refusal to go back to work citing incapacitation, the Public Service Minister Paul Mavima summoned teachers’ unions to a meeting in Harare, Monday afternoon.

Teachers wanted to hear about the government payment of their Covid-19 allowance – the USD$150 which was introduced a few months ago but just appeared on payslips and never paid.

They also expected to hear about their sector-specific allowances and restoration of their USD 540 which was withdrawn by the government when it downsized them to RTGS 4000.

Another boiling issue among the teachers is the use of the National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC) platform to negotiate their grievance, yet, not all teacher unions are represented. Teachers have lost patience on the NJNC processes which ordinarily take long for their issues to be addressed.

Teachers wanted a memorandum of agreement with the government reflecting specific areas of concern and the payable date which should be this month, without which teachers were ready to be expelled from the government service, as per its threat to fire and replace them.

The government had threatened to terminate all the teachers who had vowed to peacefully stay at home until realistic payments are made into their accounts or alternatively sound agreements are signed.

However, in spite of the above, teachers seem to have received a wrong bag whose contents’ is yet to be suggested on how it impacts them.

This was revealed in a salary negotiating feedback meeting addressed to the; Members of all Unions Associations jointly Signed by and addressed to ARTUZ, PTUZ, TUZ, ZDTU, ZIMTA, ZINATU, ZINEU, ZRTU and copied to Parents and Learners.

“We the undersigned teachers’ Unions wish to unequivocally state that the meeting that had been perceived to bring tangible results failed to bring such.

“What the Honourable Minister Paul Mavhima did was to assure teachers that no one will be fired willy nilly from work as a result of incapacitation.

“We managed to present successfully our position paper. The Minister promised to take our demands to cabinet for further discussion

“There was no progress from the meeting at all.”

Due to this wrong bag, teachers will remain in the incapacitated because the failure of the meeting will never capacitate them as the statement further reads.

“Therefore we wish to state it clearly that members of the teaching fraternity remain incapacitated

However, in some schools pupils are going to school though unattended by the teachers. This makes them susceptible to COVID-19.

Some of the Gokwe parents vowed that, their life and that of their children is more important than the year 2020 and the exam fee they wasted. They said their children will not go to school as long as they are not attended. Some were saying 2021 is also another year. Their children will better resume studies in 2021.

The position of the most Gokwe parents was backed by the Unions’ Joint Statement.

“To parents and learners we would like to advise them that it is risky to keep learners at a school environment where there are no teachers.”

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