THE Public Service ministry has urged rural teachers to shelve their planned strike over bonuses to give dialogue a chance.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) last month notified the Labour ministry of its intention to go on strike if the Civil Service Commission fails to pay them their 2016 bonuses within 14 working days.
The cash-strapped government has been failing to timeously pay salaries for its workers and it has not released dates for bonuses amid plans to pay civil servants in stands.
Labour permanent secretary, Ngoni Masoka on Monday wrote to ARTUZ, urging its members to shelve the strike and let dialogue continue.
“You may wish to note that the meeting convened by the minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, together with the minister of Finance and Economic Development and the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, with workers’ representatives was adjourned to February 20, 2017 to allow for further consultations,” he wrote.
“Therefore, your intention to proceed on strike on a matter that is still under consideration is detrimental to social dialogue. You are, therefore, urged to give negotiations a chance.”
However, ARTUZ secretary-general, Robson Chere yesterday told NewsDay that they would go ahead with the planned job action until their grievance is addressed.
“Rural teachers have been on a go-slow from the opening day demanding bonus dates. We are scaling up to a full-fledged strike as the employer has remained silent. We will further resort to street protests. Our job action is going ahead on Monday next week and we are mobilising on the ground,” he said.
Already other government workers have been mooting job action, with doctors having started a strike this week over working conditions.
Last year, civil servants successfully boycotted work under the national shutdown, crippling services and sending a strong message to the government to shape up and improve working conditions.