THE Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) yesterday expressed dismay over what they called discriminatory practices by government after soldiers were awarded a 22,5% salary hike and police officers a 20% adjustment when teachers only received a 17% increase.
PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe said he had already sent a letter to the President’s Office complaining about the discriminatory practice, adding there was no justification as to why government would treat its employees differently.
“We are very disappointed at what has happened because it is unfair that they have created a three tier government where they chose soldiers and the police and treated other civil servants like teachers as the least of all,” Majongwe said.
“Teachers were only given 17% while others were given 22%, but I am not saying that soldiers do not deserve 22% — in fact they deserve more given their living conditions. What I am against is the discrimination.”
Majongwe blasted the Apex Council which negotiates on behalf of government employees, saying that they were more interested in self-aggrandisement than standing for the rights of the workers. He said they were not doing enough to negotiate for civil servants.
The PTUZ letter sent to Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Government Programmes described the salary discrepancies as “unjustified, unfair labour practices”.
“We note as teachers that our cause has been betrayed by the bogus collective bargaining entity called National Joint Negotiating Council where the workers side is seriously compromised. Senior managers in education get far less than their equivalent in other ministries. The differences are just too glaring to ignore and as a union we believe such discrepancies are not only unacceptable, but scandalous,” the letter to Mumbengegwi read.
Majongwe said they will be expecting a response from government as soon as possible to deal with the disgruntled teachers.
“We know that this package to soldiers and police is meant to send a certain signal. The problem is that we are dealing with a government which is trying to campaign and on the other hand to stabilise things,” he said.