By Dr Takafira Zhou And Raymond Majongwe.
Harare, Zimbabwe. (News of The South)- History is pregnant with examples of people who have fought for their legitimate demands and freedom be it political, economic, social and even professional. From slave trade, anti-colonial struggles and post colonial struggles history is the great teacher that extra ordinary situations call for extra ordinary solutions and that every situation produces its own leaders. As teachers we have reached a stage where we have done everything possible to appraise our employer to improve our plight in terms of:
-100% salary increase as there has been no salary review since 2012.
-new robust collective bargaining council in line with section 65 of our Constitution as opposed to the obsolete, archaic and moribund Apex Council
-Reinstitution of vacation leave for teachers
-75% increase of rural and hardship allowance
-6th form allowance
-Class teacher allowance
– Manpower development leave on full pay as other professions in Zimbabwe
-Invigilation of public examination allowance
-Bloated class allowance
-Long service allowance
-Health and safety protection
– Professional freedom
– politics free zone schools
-security of teachers and learners at work/learning places particularly during Elections.
-credible running of public examinations
Sadly, our employer seem to be repellent to engagement, logical disputation and fair labour practice. The employer has so far adopted an intransigent and irresponsible approach impermeable to reason and facts. Minister Mumbengegwi’s office want to play games with teachers refusing to accept our reminder letter to the effect that he has not yet responded to our petition handed over to his office on 27 March 2018. Rather, he referred FOZEU to a Mr Tarupuwa in the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare. How the office of Minister Mumbengegwi wants FOZEU to hand over a letter addressed to him to another person baffles logic and common sense. We were removed from the Public Service to the Office of the President and Cabinet. May the Minister be reminded that teachers are fast losing their patience. It would seem that the only language that our government understands so well, is the language of industrial action. Henceforth as educators we will proceed to give notice to industrial action soon.
As Ptuz we want to rest assure members that we are doing our best in ensuring that the forthcoming industrial action is a collective action under the umbrella of teachers’ federation FOZEU. We therefore appeal to Ptuz members not only to sharpen the instruments of combat on their own but to broaden discussion and lobbying to all teachers in Zimbabwe. Collectively let’s channel teachers’ pent up forces to meaningful direction. We either have to swim to victory together or else we will sink as a profession. We cannot continue to stand on the touchline to watch a game we should be playing. All teachers must be part of the solution and not part of the problem. As leadership we will ensure that we mantain the unity of all credible teacher unions, but as the detachment commanders and paratroopers your support and action will ensure victory in our decisive battle. The Doctors did it. The nurses did it and want to do it again. History will condemn us if we don’t adopt the fastest modus operandi to protect our profession from cold and calculated vandalism. Education is so special to be entrusted to disgruntled personnel.
We have nothing to fear except fear itself. An injury to one will be an injury to all. At any rate we will ensure maximum gains through minimum losses. That can be guaranteed by a revolutionary high command under FOZEU, consented action and unity of purpose of all teachers. Let our clarion call in defence of the teaching profession and the education system reverberate far and wide. We have nothing to lose but our misery and poverty. Status restoration is what we call for.
Viva Ptuz Viva
Viva FOZEU viva
Dr Takavafira Zhou (president)
Raymond Majongwe (SG)
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