18 November 2020
As Progressive Teachers Union Of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) leadership, we salute the unwavering, unflinching and heroic resistance of teachers against unilateral reduction of their salaries from US$520-US$550 in October 2018 to US$40 by September 2020. As leadership we also had done our scenario planning and realised that teachers needed to unite as brothers and sisters or perish as fools. We were therefore instrumental in the formation of the United Front.
However, the Black Teachers’ Monday has seen the greatest betrayal of teachers’ incapacitation struggle when some yellow unions betrayed the interests of teachers. When trade union leaders romance with the employer, it is a sign of uselessness of such groupings. In spite of initiating the idea of deadlock and arbitration as Ptuz, and amplifying its efficacy, the deployees in the moribund Apex Council were eager to sacrifice teachers for personal aggrandisement.
We were therefore left in a tunnel and must dig our way out of the tunnel. We remain in incapacitation trenches as both Ptuz members and leaders, as we consult widely on how best to navigate across the great betrayal. We, therefore, urge our members to continue engaging teachers across the unions’ divide on the best way forward. As leaders we are also consulting whatever semblance of the United Front that remains after the Great Betrayal. It is not a mistake to make a mistake, but it is certainly a mistake to repeat the same mistake. The Victorial Falls romance escapade early this year was Apex Council ‘s mistake, and the Black Teachers’ Monday another mistake. Enough is enough.
Teachers can only continue to have faith in archaic, obsolete and moribund Apex Council at their own peril. In our engagements, the issue of defective Apex Council and treacherous Union leaders must also be interrogated without fear or favour.
Our consolidated provincial reports must be in by end of day Thursday so that NEC can make decision from such reports by Friday.
We want to reiterate that the health and safety of teachers and pupils must be highly prioritised as cases of Covid 19 cases are increasing in schools.
Dr Takavafira M. Zhou (Ptuz President)