Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe ( ARTUZ) has warned the government that schools risk completely shutting down if it does not take urgent measures to positively respond to the demands of the teachers.

“Teachers of Zimbabwe have spoken with one voice, they have downed tools and are demanding a living wage. An average of an 18% of teachers reported for duty today (Thursday) according to a survey conducted by our research department earlier today.” ARTUZ said in a statement on Thursday.

The Union said the government must urgently come to the negotiating table to solve the teachers’ grievances.

“We encourage the State through one of its elements, the government to quickly come down to the negotiating table before schools completely and permanently shut down.

“It is a great travesty of justice to pay a worker US$120 monthly at a time when their monthly expenditure is way above US$800.”

The organization further implored other Unions to remain steadfast and resolute in fighting for the workers.

“We encourage sister Unions to remain loyal to the workers’ cause as we traverse this revolutionary journey. Those who are going to sellout along the journey will not only be judged harshly by history but will instantly fall victim to the wrath of the working class.

Those teachers who continue to offer their labor under such difficult conditions are either naïve or masquerading to be teachers yet they are receiving a pay check from elsewhere.”

ARTUZ members came to the limelight when they walked from Mutare to Harare and camped at Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube’s offices.

Their leadership has been arrested after being described as a regime change outfit.

Teachers are on nationwide strike since 5 February demanding better pay. byo24