Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has revealed its engagement plan with other stakeholders in scheming what it calls the second national shut down after an industrial action which the union members performed last week.
The union, which accuses the APEX Council chairperson Cecilia Alexander of being captured performed an industrial action last week.
“If other unions fail to take heed of our call, we will go for another rural shut down,” ARTUZ Gender and Social Welfare Secretary, Moreblessing Nyambara said.
“We demand our salaries to be paid in United States Dollars or interbank rate equivalent.”
ARTUZ says the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting, which the Zimbabwe Government called during last week’s job action was to give false hope to the teachers.
“The majority of our sister unions are still trapped under the misguided hope that negotiations under the National Joint Negotiating Council will yield positive results, to us the NJNC is both illegitimate and dysfunctional,” Nyambara said.
“The composition of the APEX Council, which represents the workers at the NJNC is now heavily compromised, after the leaders were incorporated in boards of some organisations.”
The secretary said Alexander’s appointment into the NSSA board has rendered APEX dysfunctional as the representative of the workers “went to bed with the employer.
Commenting on last week’s industrial action, ARTAZ says the teachers welcomed the move to protest against underpayment.
“We conducted two surveys on a daily basis to establish the success of the job action. From our survey on day one we interviewed 15 590 teachers. 8 244 had reported for duty from the survey marking a 56.5% attendance.” ARTUZ acting Secretary General Ndawana Munyaradzi said.
“Second day attendance dropped to 455 and this morning it was at 40%,”
“These figures point to a great success story of a peaceful job action which builds towards a crippling nationwide strike in the education sector if our demands are not addressed,” explain Munyaradzi.
Teachers are demanding to be paid in US dollars when the government is in short of foreign currency.
Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube last year promised the workers that there can be no payment in foreign currency for civil servants.