Teachers in Zimbabwe refuse to return to class unless salaries are improved

28th September 2020

Zimbabwe's schools were supposed to open today after being closed for six months under lockdown regulations, but teachers say that they would not be returning to class.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, the largest teachers' union in the country, has demanded that the government increase salaries for teaching staff before they can return to classes.

Currently, Zimbabwe's teachers earn an average of 11 000 Zimbabwe dollars (R 1 720) a month, including COVID-19 allowances.

PTUZ's Raymon Majongwe expressed grave concern for the union's members, who he says cannot afford to continue on a meager salary.

"You can't go and sell your goats, your sheep, your chickens to go to your workstation where you are not going to get the same return. We are simply saying to the government, we are not fighting you, we are not against you, but give us what we're worth. We are professionals worth the dignity and worth the respect. We can't become a laughing stock in the region," said Secretary-General Majongwe.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean government has pushed ahead on plans to reopen schools, assuring that schools are ready to reopen with no threat from COVID-19 infections as personal protective equipment for all teachers and pupils is available.

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