The Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ) under Ray Majongwe recently met with President Mnangagwa where they laid may demands for the embetterment f teachers service, top amongst them was the remuneration issue of attleast $3 000 or USD equivalent.
Here is their full petition submitted to President Mnangagwa.
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PROGRESSIVE TEACHERS’ UNION OF ZIMBABWE
PTUZ DISCUSSION POINTS WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE
REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, HIS EXCELLENCY CDE EMMERSON
HELD AT STATE HOUSE
ON 21 DECEMBER 2018
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Dr Takavafira Zhou……………………………………………President
Nokuthula Hlabangana……………………………………….Vice President
Raymond Majongwe………………………………………….Secretary General
Ladistous Zunde………………………………………………..National Coordinator
Peter Machenjera……………………………………………….Secretary for Information and Publicity
Conny Mavugara………………………………………………Secretary for International Affairs
Abiot Moyo………………………………………………………Secretary for Teachers with Disabilities
Charles Mubwandarikwa…………………………………….Chairperson, Harare Province
Tapiwa Chengeta……………………………………………….Chairperson, Mashonaland East Province
Ophilia Maheya…………………………………………………PTUZ Legal Advisor
Rejoice Ngavi……………………………………………………PTUZ Legal Advisor
Fannuel Mabhugu……………………………………………..PTUZ Research Unit Officer
Josiphat Gwezhira……………………………………………..PTUZ Research Unit Officer
Whereas we wrote your good office and submitted a dossier of our concerns to you
personally on 18 July 2018 at the Education Investment Conference at Celebration Centre in
Reiterating that we wrote your good office another letter dated the 5th of December 2018
requesting for an urgent meeting;
Appreciating your acceptance letter to meet the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe
Realising that we submitted petitions to Hon. Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube
and the Hon Minister of the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Sekesai Nzenza
on 9 November 2018;
Mindful that we wrote the former Permanent Secretary, Dr Olivia Utete-Masango on 5
October 2018; and
Noting that no response was received from the said ministries except from the Ministry of
Public service, Labour and Social Welfare under Dr Nzenza Sekesai we hereby attach the
said letters we wrote for your reference; and
Thankful that you have afforded us this rare opportunity to discuss teachers’ concerns with
you in spite of your business schedule.
NOW THEREFORE, WE MAKE THE FOLLOWING SUBMISSIONS:
1. CONDITIONS OF SERVICE
Teachers are disgruntled with our current basic salary, whose entry point is
We have calculated the consumer basket using purchasing power parity theory
and also inputting inflation (currently 31% pa) a minimum figure of $3086 per
month or the equivalent in USD for a family of six;
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The current figure we are paid was a salary pegged in USD, and is now in
RTGS after the fiscal and monetary policy statements announcement by
As we speak we are heavily subsidising the government through meeting most
of the expenses that should be borne by the government;
We have reason to doubt the Poverty Datum Line as calculated by government
agencies. The above figure of $3,086 is not massaged; and
The 2% tax is burdensome, cruel, punitive and robs the poor. We also submit
that it is wrongly timed.
Teachers should be paid in USD or the equivalent in terms of purchasing
The government has neglected to reward those who have professionally
advanced themselves, even at their own expense. In other arms of the civil
service workers are being rewarded handsomely for going to school, even
at government cost. We recommend that as a matter of urgency the
government starts rewarding teachers appropriately for advancing
themselves professionally; and
Currently the education sector is the only social service sector where
experience counts for nothing. The difference between a teacher who
joined the service yesterday (Grade D1) and a teacher who joined in 1978
(E5) is currently $59. There is something scandalously wrong with the
grading system and this must urgently be addressed.
Point to note: Your Excellency Cde President, the current basic salary of
the entry-level teacher is $284 RTGS. This amount is worthy about
USD$80. You can see Your Excellency that it is not only difficult, but also
impossible for teachers to report for duty when schools open on 7 January,
unless some kind of miracle happens or the government responds to our
plea and raises our salary before schools open.
Allowances of $91 are paid for transport and $116 for housing. These are now
too low given the expenses that have risen astronomically over the past three
The assumption that only the father benefits from transport and housing
allowances is very wrong;
The other allowances applicable to the education sector are also too low, for
example, Advanced Level allowance is $25 per month, but some teachers are
denied this because the number of learners they have is below a certain
threshold. We know for a fact the Minister of Sport is paid the same as the
Minister of Education even though they superintend over very different
numbers of government personnel;
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Head of Department is $10 per month;
Sports Organiser is $10 per month and paid only to some sports organisers
depending on the wishes of government functionaries through whom
application forms pass;
TIC allowance is $10 per month;
All these mentioned allowances are not given to everyone, and are not paid
during holidays. That is unnecessary discrimination;
Payment of salary based on the figures that we researched, in this case
$3,086 or its equivalent in USD;
New allowances that we are advocating for are the following:
– Grade 7 Allowance;
– Invigilation allowance;
– ECD Risk allowance;
– Special teacher allowance;
– Extra duty allowance to be paid to boarding school teachers by boarding
– Disabled teachers’ allowance;
– Bloated class allowance for children beyond official government ratios;
– Composite class allowance; and
– Class teacher allowance, for attendant responsibilities.
(c) Bonus payment
While we acknowledge the timeous payment of bonus in 2018, it is our fortified view
that the law of legitimate expectation was not followed because teachers expected
bonus payment to include allowances.
The Government must pay the remaining portion of the bonus.
(d) Infrastructure – accommodation and rentals
Currently our members are being charged rent at government schools. Of late,
boarding schools and mission schools are following suit. We propose that no rent
should be paid at No-option schools like boarding schools far from growth points
and towns. Teachers should have the option of finding their own accommodation
that they believe is suitable for them. If there is no such option, the
accommodation should be free;
Other arms of the civil service do not pay rent, and there is no reason why we are
being discriminated against;
We have made a separate submission on infrastructure, a dossier with photos of
schools with infrastructure that is dangerous to both the teachers and the learners
for your reference; and
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Your Excellency, urgent attention should be paid to the accommodation of
teachers and classrooms.
The government should incentivise companies and organisations that build or
All mining companies or companies extracting resources in Zimbabwe must be
obliged to build a school, health centre and sports facilities in areas they are
They should also provide water to a specific number of schools and
Government to float bonds for infrastructure development in schools; and
Unions should be given land to build schools.
(e) Sanitation and health
Many rural schools have blair toilets that have outlived their lifespan and are a
danger to users. For example, at Chisambiro Primary School in Mudzi District,
the toilet floor caved in, and a female teacher, Precious Charamba, went down
with toilet. The teacher was not compensated and had to foot her own medical
bills. She still owes Mutoko District Hospital huge medical bills; and
Many rural schools are also using unprotected water sources;
There should be safe and easily accessible water at each school;
The DDF should be empowered to drill boreholes in areas without water, like
Rushinga, Chiredzi, Mangwe and Bulilima and others where teachers have to
Health delivery should be brought to the people in remote communities, via
Damaged access roads to all schools must be rehabilitated and improved,
including construction of access bridges. Where the roads are non-existent, there
must be concerted efforts to make sure that roads are constructed. Where efforts
have been made in areas like these, the government has been making access
roads to chiefs’ homesteads, not schools.
(f) Electrification and digitalisation of rural schools
The issue of electrifying and digitalising rural schools has always been a topical
issue getting lip service from government; and
While we applaud the government’s efforts to computerise schools, without
digitalisation and electricity, the dream remains just that.
ICT companies should be incentivised to invest in remote areas;
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The principle of “No child left behind” should apply in letter as well as in
Electrification of schools should be done rapidly.
(g) Pension contributions
Currently the amounts being deducted for pensions is higher than the statutory
7.5% of basic salary.
We recommend that the amount be reduced as a matter of urgency. The
deduction seems to have been made arbitrarily and fixed at around $40;
The formula for calculation should be known publicly; and
Teachers pensioned from 2007-2009 should receive a new lump sum from
government. They were grossly disadvantaged and lost out on the real value of
(h) Vacation leave
In January 2016 the government unilaterally cancelled vacation leave for
teachers and recalled those who had gone on leave, thereby violating labour laws
and the national constitution in the process;
After intervention of the PTUZ, the government forced all teachers who were
due for vacation leave to get cash-in-lieu of the leave, without consulting the
teachers; The government short-changed teachers by giving them only basic
salary as CIL;
Those receiving CIL are now being taxed increasing amounts every month.
There has been no explanation from the Ministry of Finance;
Up to now there is no solution in relation to the issue of vacation; and
Nurses received their back-pay in full, while teachers have had to get their CIL
as meat-cuts. The value of this CIL has changed since July.
We demand that the government should follow the law in relation to vacation
leave because there is discrimination against teachers.
(i) Annual leave
As far as we are concerned teachers are eligible for annual leave days of 12
days per year which must not be mistaken for special leave. Some heads of
schools are not allowing teachers to take annual leave.
(j) Manpower Development Leave
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Currently, the civil service is not allowing teachers to go on MDL. There is no
legal basis for this discrimination, since other arms of the civil service are
allowed to go on MDL on full pay.
MDL should be restored with full pay and benefits like in other arms of the
civil service. This is because it improves the quality of both the teacher and
(k) ZIMSEC duties
Invigilation of public examinations is an extra duty outside the purview of the
teacher’s normal duties;
Practical examinations are partly conducted by teachers in schools, who
themselves are not paid like other markers who do the final assessment;
Currently ZIMSEC does not engage teachers and other stakeholders on the
processes and quality of public examinations; and
We have had several meetings and correspondences with ZIMSEC and the line
Ministry in relation to these issues.
ZIMSEC should pay for invigilation as is the same in other parastatals like ZEC
and ZIMStats when they hire civil servants;
Regional best practices should be followed. We propose that there be created a
Board of Examiners that engages ZIMSEC on the welfare of examiners and
process of examination; and
ZIMSEC should pay practical examiners who are based at schools since they
mark part of the ZIMSEC examinations at the school.
(l) Non-monetary incentives
The government has paid lip service to non-monetary incentives for more than
five years now.
The government should expeditiously allocate land to teachers in various areas
to construct houses and other income-generating activities;
The government should allow teachers to import one duty-free vehicle once
every five years;
Non-payment of tuition and levies for three children of a teacher at any school in
Recognition of service award at regular intervals with attendant monetary
benefits in that recognition.
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2. TEACHERS’ RIGHTS
(a) Teachers with disabilities
Currently they face a number of problems and discrimination which need urgent
Special allowances should be paid to them in the same manner others are
receiving a hardship allowance;
There should be a written policy on the provision of benefits to teachers and
children with disabilities. The issue of assistants should be implemented without
Government should provide equipment and other support services for teachers
and learners with disabilities;
There should be a concerted effort by the government to engage multilateral
donors and other organisations to assist in the procurement of equipment and
material needed by disabled teachers and learners;
Tax exemptions for gadgets; and
All schools must be easily accessed by people living with disabilities.
We attach a video of one physically disabled teacher in Mashonaland East who
has applied for an assistant since 2006 but has been denied the same. Someone
or some people slept on duty.
(b) Student teachers
We have noted that just like qualified teachers, student teachers are being
discriminated, degrading and demeaned. Their allowances were cut by more than
half whereas other arms of the civil service are not ill-treated in the same
Their fees must be revised downwards when they are on teaching practice.
Student teachers should be paid full salary like other trainees in government
(c) Unemployed qualified teachers
The government has not been appointing new teachers into service on the basis
of lack of resources;
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The official teacher-pupil ratio at infant level is 1:22; junior primary school is
1:27, junior secondary 1:33 and senior secondary 1:33. A Level is 1:25, and
practicals 1:100. On the ground however, across the board, teacher-pupil ratio
now ranges from 1:60 to 1:100. This is now taken as the norm;
This has compromised quality education, and contradicts Agenda 2030, EFA
goals and the government’s own policy; and
There are almost 30,000 unemployed qualified teachers in Zimbabwe.
The government should immediately start appointing teachers to lessen the
burden of teachers on the ground; and
The government should formally export excess teachers through government to
government agreements with neighbouring and other friendly nations.
(d) New curriculum
The objectives of the new curriculum on paper are very good;
The process of introducing the new curriculum was defective; and
The new curriculum has maintained the same system of assessment. It has
changed only in name.
The curriculum review recommendations of April 2018 should be made public,
interrogated by stakeholders, refined and implemented;
Empower teachers to write books;
Teacher capacity development should be intensified; and
Electricity and ICT should be made accessible to all schools, including those in
(e) Harmonisation of labour laws
Currently workers in private and public sectors are governed by different
labour laws, thereby dividing them unnecessarily.
Private and public sector workers should be governed by the same labour law
regime which is in sync with the new constitution and international
(f) Social dialogue/collective bargaining
Since independence the public service workers have never really had collective
bargaining. The SI 141 of 1997 is a legal sham that provides for mere
consultations and is a far cry from international best practices;
In 2012-13 studies were made by government and workers which accepted both
central bargaining and sectoral bargaining in line with the South African system
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of bargaining. There is no need to carry any new studies before aligning our laws
to the new constitution; and
Social dialogue has died a natural death.
The government should respect Section 65 of the constitution which provides for
collective bargaining, not begging;
Respect ILO Conventions 87, 98 and 151;
Collective bargaining must allow sectoral collective bargaining;
The creation of the Federation of Zimbabwe Educators’ Unions (FOZEU) must
be recognised by government urgently; and
The Tripartite Negotiating Forum must be revived as was recommended by the
(g) De-politicisation of schools
We note with concern that during election times teachers and learners are
intimidated, learning disrupted, and school property abused and vandalised.
Schools must remain institutions of teaching and learning; and
Schools must remain politics-free zones.
(h) Harassment and arrest of union members/leaders by the police
Mr President, we note with concern that the new dispensation has continued with
the harassment of union members just as in the previous regime.
Such arrests and harassment should be stopped forthwith; and
There should be regular meetings between unions and the employer to promote
(i) Meaningful engagement
There is a dictatorial tendency by education and public service officials to
discard negotiations and consultations with teachers. The Education Act has
reportedly been adopted by Cabinet without engaging the very members who
will be affected by it;
Ministry of Education officials are in the habit of announcing policies and
teacher issues at wrong fora like funerals and political gatherings; and
There is also a tendency by government to announce pay dates a few days before
There should be urgent consultations between government and teachers on the
amendment proposals of the Education Act;
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Teachers’ issues about salaries should not be announced in public by
government officials, especially salaries;
All reforms in the education system should be a product of meaningful
engagement with teachers; and
Public attacks on teachers by Ministry officials should cease.
(j) Money lenders and other unauthorised deductions
We have previously raised the issue with your offices Mr President, that some
money lending firms and other organisations are fleecing our members without
their permission. These include National Housing Development Trust,
Zimbabwe Housing Development Trust, River Valley, McDowell’s, ZCCU, All
Angels, Getbucks, Nissi Global, Golden Knot, BUYDIRECT, Business
Optimisation Systems, Credifin, Krearmon, Sparven, Paramount, Coverlink etc;
It would seem that either these companies are above the law or are conniving
with officials of the SSB to deduct these monies without the permission of the
affected members. Another possibly is that they are politically connected and
are protected whenever they are challenged to stop their thievery; and
The SSB is allowing deductions on member’s payslips that are above the
(k) School fees and uniforms
New school fees for 2019 have gone astronomically high and beyond the
capacity of many;
School uniform prices are unacceptably high. They are ranging from $850-
$2000. School fees have also shot up to as high as $9600. With our current
salaries teachers will not be able to send their children to these schools. The
two-tier education system is back with a bang;
Funds from uniforms and other sundries are not audited and, therefore, promote
corruption in schools; and
In most cases the uniforms are only provided by the school or a company
contracted by the school.
Let’s do away with monopolies in the provision of uniforms and other sundries;
There is also need for intervention by government to address the issue of such
monopolies and exorbitant charges;
(l) Discipline in schools
Some statements by government officials in relation to indiscipline by learners in
schools are having the effect of abetting that scourge. We do not advocate for corporal
punishment, but if we are not careful, we will soon face the problem of South Africa.
Cases that come to mind are the case in which in Zaka District, a teacher was attacked
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by a learner at Mutonhori High School. The same happened in Lupane District and
Ihlati Secondary School in Bulawayo.
(m)Teaching Profession Council (TPC)
The idea of a TPC is noble.
The TPC should be independent, self-regulatory and autonomous; and
It must maintain the ethics of the profession.
3. WOMEN CONCERNS
Women issues should be given the prominence they deserve. These issues centre
around sexual abuse and refusal by the employer to bring families together
The issue of affordable sanitary ware for teachers and learners should also be
taken seriously; and
Appointment of women into positions of influence should be a priority so that
there is gender balance.
We thank the president for giving us a rare opportunity for dialogue
We have highlighted the dilemma faced by teachers in trying to do their work as
they are incapacitated by low salaries and high prices and inability to send their
own children to school their own.
We request your immediate intervention to enable the smooth opening of
We hope you will take these submissions in the best interest of national
development, considering that education is central to the development of any
Teaching is the mother of all professions and teachers are a vital cog in attaining
societal and national development.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Zimbabwean teachers are dedicated, patriotic
citizens and committed to duty, therefore, deserve to be treated with respect,
dignity and be handsomely rewarded to continue serving their country.
The problems of teachers have led to break-ups of several families, stress,
depression, hypertension, and suicides as our members suffer the trauma of
economic neglect and poverty.
These challenges are not exhaustive, and we implore upon your office to
judiciously attend to the concerns of your teachers in the best interests of
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Your Excellency Cde President, we thank you for the invitation, and would like
to assure you that we will continue to knocking on your door as and when it is
necessary for engagement and cross-pollination of ideas of how we can make our
education system the beckon and source of national pride.