HARARE - Teacher unions have vowed to defy a government directive to cut short their vacation so that they can be head counted.
George Mushipe, president of the Zimbabwe Democratic Teachers’ Union, told the Daily News yesterday that teachers will not comply with the directive.
His remarks come after the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education issued a circular to all schools advising them to recall teachers from their vacation for a head count by the Civil Service Commission.
Mushipe said teachers were on a well-deserved break and the recall was simply unfair.
“This leave comes after at least seven years of hard work and the teachers duly deserve it.
“The letter that is being circulated in school indicates that the directive should be effected on January 1 despite government itself having approved these vacations months in advance,” he said.
He said they had approached their legal team to deal with the matter.
Mushipe said necessary documents had been handed over to the lawyers and advice on a way forward would be proffered soon.
“That circular contains issues of saving money but how is that linked with recalling teachers on vacation?
“Zimbabwe is a member of the International Labour Organisation and as such they should abide by its rules and regulations.
“It is a clear violation of the labour rights of employees as contained in Statutory Instrument 1 of 2000.
“If this abuse goes on unaddressed, we will definitely sue and take them to the Labour Court. If that does not work, then we will resort to demonstrations.”
Earlier, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) issued a statement, saying they had engaged their lawyers on the matter.
“Zimta advises all teachers on leave not to report to work until proper procedures, such as inviting individuals back to work using individual letters, have been followed,” the union said.
Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora did not respond to questions.