Zimbabwe teachers threaten partial shutdown of public schools

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwean teachers on Thursday gave the government 72 hours to address their grievances over worsening economic condition and poor remuneration or risk a partial shutdown of schools beginning next week.

In a letter to the Public Service Commission, the militant Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said its members would report for duty on three days only starting June 24 “due to incapacitation” following a rapid worsening of economic conditions during the past few months.

“Please note that after extensive consultation of our membership and having exhausted all channels of communication with the authorities, from Monday, the 24th of June 2019 our incapacitated members will not be able to report for duty for the whole week as they ought to, but will start with a three-day (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) working week during the first week,” the union said.

The union warned that the number of working days would progressively be reduced by a day for each week that its demands are not addressed until the teachers eventually stop coming to work.

Among other things, the teachers are demanding “a rescue package of US$200” over and above their local currency-denominated salaries as well as an upward review of salaries in line with the purchasing power parity principle.

The demands come as Zimbabwe is experiencing a biting economic crisis that has seen prices of basic commodities doubling in the past month.

An acute shortage of fuel has forced oil companies to raise prices of petrol and diesel by more than 400 percent since January.

However salaries of most workers have not been reviewed upwards.


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