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Teachers demand wages in US$

TEACHERS, who make up the largest section of civil servants, are demanding that government pays their salaries in United States Dollars.

Government is due to pay its employees starting this week, with salaries currently pegged in the bond note currency.

But, due to the government’s new tax hike and monetary measures the bond note has been devalued resulting in prices of basic commodities and services rising astronomically.

The teachers, made this demand under their umbrella body Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA), saying, US dollars based salaries were necessary given the volatility of the economy currently.

They also threatened to mete out unspecified action, if government fails to meet their demands.

“In light of the prevailing economic situation in the country, where service providers are demanding payments in foreign currency, we as teachers in Zimbabwe, hereby demand to be paid our salaries in foreign currency forthwith,” said ZIMTA secretary general, Tapson Nganunu Sibanda.

He pointed out that they were no longer in a position to meet their daily needs as they could not afford to fund their lifestyles.

“Having observed that we have been hardest hit by the recent monetary pronouncements and measures, we are no longer in a position to meet our daily monetary commitments and are therefore incapacitated. ZIMTA is now calling for an immediate cushioning of teachers through payment of salaries in foreign currency,” Sibanda demanded.

Failure to honour this demand would result in unforeseen consequences from the teaching fraternity, the secretary general warned.

 “Our demand is informed by the fact that teachers can no longer afford to pay for daily commuting to work, buy food, rentals, and medical bills as all service providers are demanding payments in foreign currency.

“Government must be reminded that teachers have already been earning below poverty datum line (PDL) salaries and as such were worse off before and are now incapacitated.  Our current salaries can no longer sustain our mere existence as teachers in Zimbabwe. The current salaries, which are low and distorted, have driven teachers into poverty and incapacitation,” he said. 

Sibanda stressed teachers were justified to ask for foreign currency, and unnecessary delays would have negative ripple effects of the education sector.

“We as ZIMTA, believe that our demand to be paid salaries in foreign currency is justified as any further delays in doing so will destabilise the education sector,” he said.

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