TEACHERS have called on the government to give them land and other non-monetary benefits since it was too broke to review their salaries this month as previously promised.
The government awarded civil servants a pay rise this year and promised another mid-year upward salary review in addition to other non-monetary benefits.
However, the government has now said it is financially hamstrung to fulfil its promise citing the liquidity crunch. Takavafira Zhou, president of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) yesterday said the development angered them, but added that the liquidity crunch could not stop the government from dolling out non-monetary benefits to them as promised.
“Zimbabwean teachers are angry that the government had promised to review their salaries in June, but is now professing financial incapacity due to the liquidity crisis. Much as the government may be experiencing a financial crisis, it all the same could fulfil its non-monetary promises such as giving land for teachers’ houses and at least duty-free cars for teachers, among many other promises,” Zhou said.
He said teachers were “becoming impatient over the government’s broken promises and raised questions over the sincerity of President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party’s election promises to improve the welfare of civil servants”.
“While the government acceded to these non-monetary clauses in January 2014, nothing has as yet materialised. Teachers are therefore becoming impatient with unfulfilled promises. PTUZ urges the government to respect teachers as professionals and promote meaningful learning and teaching in schools by meeting teachers’ basic needs such as shelter,” Zhou said.
The government has been forced to shift pay dates for civil servants after failing to mobilise resources to pay them on due dates as a result of the cash crises.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa told Parliament that there was no quick fix to the capacity to maintain the government’s commitments to meet civil servants’ salaries on time.