Zimbabwe: Govt, Civil Servants in Crunch Meeting As Rural Teachers Join Doctors, Nurses Strike

Zimbabwe doctors on strike (file photo).
5 November 2019

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) says it is joining the striking doctors and nurses in pushing for better wages from the government as its members have also become incapacitated.

This comes after recent utterances by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube that the government did not have the resources to benchmark salaries against the interbank foreign currency exchange rate.

Consequently, doctors have been on a strike for 65 days and nurses have now joined hands in pushing for better working conditions. As of yesterday, Harare Municipal Health workers also joined the strike citing incapacitation.

ARTUZ's action is the latest spat in the government's face which has been making frantic efforts to engage the APEX council through the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC).

However, ARTUZ says despite the urgent meeting, they will still go ahead with their planned demonstration which will culminate in a strike.

"We note that the government has cowardly called for an urgent National Joint Negotiating Council, NJNC in a desperate attempt to deflate the momentum of the Workers' Wednesday march. Such a move will definitely be ignored by the workers.

"We urge our Cdes in the APEX council to shake off the puppet tag that has been associated with their legacy and reject anything short of interbank rate indexed salaries," the union's president Obert Masaraure said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Apex Council chairperson Cecilia Alexander, however, said the meeting will determine if the industrial actions will go ahead as planned.

"The item on the agenda is to receive feedback from the government in response to our position paper that we presented on October 31 where we notified the government that most civil servants are now failing to even afford to come to work and also even fend for their families," she said.

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