Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has warned the government about considering reopening of schools before restoring the purchasing power of teachers.

The teachers’ representative organisation’s president Dr Takakavira Zhou pointed out that the organisation was worried by the government’s reluctance to come to a table for “long overdue” negotiations.

We note with concern from various reports that dates for reopening of schools will be announced by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Cain Matema, this week. It is sad that such an enunciation would be made without engaging teacher unions.

While we appreciate coverage of provision of COVID-19 abatement equipment before opening of schools including testing kits and other PPEs, we are worried that the issue of welfare of teachers has been conspicuous by its absence from reports.

We hereby reiterate that other than meeting the health and safety of teachers and pupils, welfare issues must be high on the agenda.

Dr Zhou reiterated that all teachers would want the government to address their welfare before it considers reopening of schools.

MyGokwe quoted him saying “teachers are calling for the restoration of their October 2018 USD salaries which were at USD 550.”

He spelt out that any attempt to fast track reopening of schools without addressing the issue 9f salaries would resisted.

The government of Zimbabwe has however not communicated anything to do with the opening of schools, and it has reiterated that any communication will be done formally through formal channels.

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