TEACHERS have called on the government to urgently intervene and investigate operations of Bulawayo private colleges, accusing them of fleecing their employees.
A Zimbabwe College teacher, who declined to be named, told Southern Eye that colleges were charging students high fees, but paying their staff low salaries.
“Colleges are charging students high fees and they pay teachers salaries ranging from $150 to $350 and lieutenants to the directors receive salaries ranging from $1 200 to $5 000,” the teacher said. Teachers claimed the offending colleges are Zimbabwe College and Foundation Technical College.
“There is too much abuse of human rights in these institutions to such an extent that employees are adversely affected when it comes to payments of rentals and other individual debts,” a source revealed.
“Value created by teachers at these colleges is not recognised, instead the directors use wealth created to engage in individual developments and leave employees suffering.”
Teachers from Foundation College said their employer was deducting money from salaries accusing them of absconding work.
They said there were several issues that needed to be addressed, chief among them failure of school owners to grant vacation leave or pay cash lieu of leave to those entitled. Another teacher from Foundation College said the college was exhibiting the highest level of unfair labour practices.
“Labour laws are not adhered to by these employers. They are violating labour laws and no action is taken against them, but if an employee breaches, immediate action is taken,” the teacher said.
They said if the government failed to intervene, this might result in a cold war between employees and employers.
“May the government intervene and take corrective measures to rectify the situation at these colleges because this kind of behaviour can lead to an employees’ uprising.”
Contacted for comment, Foundation group of colleges information and community relations administrator Joakim Chakanyuka denied allegations by teachers, saying they were false claims.
“These are just false claims, they should bring forward evidence,” he said.
“Someone can come up with a story only to cover their motives and just shout over nothing.
“These teachers want to take advantage of the media and I don’t even know what their motive is.”
Efforts to get a comment from Zimbabwe College were fruitless, as phones went unanswered.