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Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (RTUZ) is now effectively on strike across the country with its 6125 strong membership and thousands of other teachers posted in rural stations having stopped to undertake any task associated with their routine work.
This comes after the National Executive of RTUZ stormed the finance ministry, on 1 July 2016, demanding immediate payment of long overdue teachers’ salaries.
After the protest at the finance ministry, the government has subsequently failed to credit teachers’ accounts with their full June salaries within the 24 hour notice which the union gave.
RTUZ had made it crystal clear to the Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, that the union, teachers and other government workers will not be hoodwinked by a US$100.00 extortion fee to report for work on Monday 4 July 2016.
Resultantly, the union has effectively called on its members and indeed the entire government work force to cease performing their routine work.
For teachers this means that they will not be marking exercise books, will not complete their scheme books and will not supervise pupils at boarding schools.
On Monday, the teachers will not attend classes ad will also not undertake any duties consistent with their routine work.
Yellow, compromised and opportunist unions, who have been party to the government pity parties disguised as consultative meetings, have been shamelessly vacillating on the course of action which teachers must take.
It is against this background that RTUZ has taken the lead and made the bold move of going on strike.
Ordinary teachers are in total support of this move as their livelihoods are under siege. They have thus largely ignored the vague and muted calls of opportunist elements calling from their ivory towers of privilege and plenty and have joined the call to action from the union.
The RTUZ national leadership will be making a tour of schools across the 8 provinces to strengthen teachers on strike and to deliver the message that the strike will persist until salaries are paid in full.
The strike has a clear legal basis since the employer has wantonly violated the employment contract as well as section 65 of the constitution which demands that the workers must be paid in full and on time.
When this indifferent regime, working again with its compromised parties who seek to gain from its trough of patronage, declared that they would not pay bonuses for 2015 it was RTUZ which undertook action through the 4 January 2016 bonus demonstration.
Once again the task to push this regime to carry out its responsibilities as set out in the constitution and demanded so by natural laws of justice fall on the union and it has already shown leadership in this regard.
The strike is part of the advocacy initiatives under the union’s largely successful Campaign for the Restoration of Teacher dignity which was launched on 4 January 2016. source-bulawayo24