Under fire Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA), which stands accused by its members of selling out in the salary negotiations following its decision, this week, to agree to what is seen as a raw deal, has told its disgruntled members that its job is to negotiate better salaries for them, not to “produce the money”.
Reacting to demands by ZIMTA that they immediately start reporting for duty after the union had agreed to the government offer that would see teachers earning about RTGS$19,000, most of its members accused the union of letting them down.
“It was just too good to be true our beloved Union you always do this to us… 2019 February you did this, today again,” wrote Thembinkosi Moyo Mupanduki on a ZIMTA Facebook page in reaction to the call to report for duty. “If I was home from the 28th of September because I’m incapacitated then today you say I must go to work who is going to capacitate me to go to work the November salary is now supposed to be used for traveling what about my family which is remaining behind what are they going to eat? What I’m I going to eat at work? What about school fees for my kids? Did you consider all these when you agreed that we are now capacitated?”
ZIMTA response to protests from its unhappy members was to remind them that it’s duty is to negotiate salaries, not to produce money.
“As ZIMTA we go onto the negotiating table in good faith, we do our best, BUT we don’t produce the money,” the union wrote. “We would rather keep negotiating while you continue to earn the something. You must also remember that all these other ZIMTA critics that you are now following do not get anywhere near the negotiating table. But we fight from right inside the ring. Don’t be misled, we give you the facts. ZIMTA fights for teachers, we are REAL, our advice is REAL. Negotiations are not an event, but long winding processes.”
Most ZIMTA members were angered by a statement issued by the union on Monday this week in which it appeared to be hectoring them to turn up for duty.
The memo read: “Our Beloved Members. ZIMTA exists for many things. Mostly to promote, advance and protect the needs of teachers, and as such we will not stand by and watch as some vulnerable teachers lose their jobs, or salaries, or livelihood, due to some undue pressure from unrecognized, unorganized social media groups who continue to urge you to break the LAW. Please be warned, these groups will be nowhere to be found in your time of need. Move with the professionals, move with US.”