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Why PTUZ will not support COPAC Draft constitution

The following is a brief synopsis of why PTUZ will not support the COPAC draft constitution which we believe is seriously in contravention of international labour best practices. We have identified more than twenty (20) reasons which will avail to you, but in this circular we will give you six (6) of them. However, the decision to vote ‘YES/NO’ rests ....read more

IT’S TIME TO ACT

For  four years now, the Government of National Unity has unashamedly dilly-dallied, dived and ducked deliberately avoiding addressing the plight of suffering civil servants and instead opting to  hide behind the smokescreen of non remittance of diamond revenues, sanctions and of late blaming the ‘unproperly constituted’ APEX council which is nonsensical as it is naive. In the past, government has awarded its workers salary increment after civil servants have embarked on industrial action and not because of any dialogue or collective bargaining
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HIV/AIDS Fund
There is inequitable access to free antiretroviral drug treatment in Zimbabwe. Most teachers, just like other citizens who test HIV positive and are clinically due for ART are failing to get ARVs through the public health delivery system. In June 2006, the PTUZ demonstrated at the National AIDS Council (NAC) offices in Harare demanding equitable access to ARVs by infected teachers. 

NAC responded to the Union’s petition, delivered by the demonstrators, by inviting the Union leadership for a meeting. At the meeting the Union leaders learnt that government had a ten percent 10% capacity to provide ARVs to those in need. Faced with this situation, the PTUZ introduced a monthly HIV/AIDS Levy on its membership subscriptions.  The scheme, which started in August 2008, created the PTUZ HIV/AIDS Fund. The Union is resources from the Fund to buy ARVs for infected and contributing members only.

Right to Legal Representation violated

Disciplinary Committees constituted by the Ministry of Education Sport and Culture are denying teachers their right to legal representation. This is a clear violation of the section.In a recent case, Wilbert Muringani, a graduate of the PTUZ Paralegal Training Project was barred access into an office where a PTUZ member Sister Catherine Munekani was appearing to answer misconduct charges before a Disciplinary Committee in Gweru, Midlands Province.


 This was despite the fact that the letter notifying Sister Munekani of the convening of the disciplinary hearing advised her of her right to be represented by a registered legal practitioner or a Union official. The hearing was chaired by the Provincial Education Director, Mrs. Agnes Gudo.

In a related development, Mr. Enock Paradzayi, another PTUZ paralegal was told by Danny Moyo, the Provincial Education Director for Bulawayo Province and Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee hearing the misconduct charges preferred against PTUZ members, Kudzai Makumbe and that he could only be present but was not supposed to say anything during the hearing. The letter inviting the two Bulawayo teachers for the disciplinary hearing also spelt out that the teachers could bring a lawyer or a trade union representative who were not allowed to speak.


PTUZ LAUNCHES THE WORKERS’ RIGHTS EDUCATION PROJECT

The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe with a membership of about 14 000 has belatedly launched a workers’ rights education project today, January 18th, 2013 in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers. The project entitled “Teachers Advancing a Rights Culture: A Global Trade Union Initiative” aims to enhance teachers’ consciousness of their rights as public service workers should have been launched on December 10, 2012, which is the Human Rights Day.

Due to limited resources, the project will specifically target a selected number of classroom practitioners and school heads in three identified provinces of Zimbabwe who will be trained in the grievance procedure and types of leave in the Public Service. It is hoped that this will go a long way in minimizing the frequency of misconduct charges preferred on teachers by school heads, which are often disruptive and time wasting.

The project will also target communities in these three provinces by engaging them in community dialogue meetings to enhance harmonious and symbiotic relationships between teachers, school administrators and their communities. This will ultimately help in conflict resolution and peace-building which will in turn help in advancing high quality education in Zimbabwe. It is also the aim of the project to build bridges between teachers and their communities through joint commemorations of important human rights days such as the Global Action Week, Workers’ Day, Day of the African Child, World Teachers’ Day and Human Rights Day in any five identified provinces of Zimbabwe. Both gender and children’s rights will be at the cutting edge of these commemorations because of their centrality to the delivery of quality education.

The PTUZ is grateful to the American Federation of Teachers for the initiative which will see its teachers and the union being empowered to engage both state actors and non-state actors in constructive dialogue to ensure that the Zimbabwean education system fosters tolerance, inclusion and respect for workers’ rights. Hopefully, teachers will be able to contribute to democratic, social and economic development of their schools, communities and country.

Fannuel Mabhugu (PTUZ Information, Education and Research Officer: Contact Number 0773449190) //


Condemning storming of PTUZ offices in Manicaland by the police

The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe is very disappointed at the behaviour of certain people in the police force such as Detective Aroveshita Reason and Detective Tipedze Muwani from Mutare who do not respect the independence and freedom of trade unions in Zimbabwe. The duo stormed the PTUZ provincial offices for Manicaland last week and demanded to know the Union’s political programme for 2013 as well as the profiles of the PTUZ provincial executive members for Manicaland.


We unreservedly condemn such abuse of policing powers by such overzealous police officers as PTUZ is a registered organization in terms of Statutory Instrument 45 of 1998 also known as Public Service (Formation and Recognition of Associations or Organizations) Regulations, 1998. As such, it is barbaric for the police to treat us as if we are an unrecognized and illegitimate organization. For the avoidance of doubt, PTUZ is a teacher organization whose main objective is to lobby for better salaries and conditions of service for its membership.


Raymond Majongwe (PTUZ Secretary-General)

OPEN LETTER TO THE INCLUSIVE GOVERNMENT PRINCIPALS

As cabinet sits for the first time in 2013 today, 22 January 2013 to deliberate on many issues of national significance, civil servants in general and teachers in particular, would like to remind the Inclusive Government principals namely; President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Arthur  Mutambara that:..