SDCs in 2017 bonus arrears storm

HARARE - The National Education Union of Zimbabwe (Neuz) has condemned School Development Committees (SDCs) nationwide for unfair labour practice, following their reluctance to pay outstanding 2017 bonuses to their employees.

In a statement, Neuz secretary-general Mathias Guchutu said while the SDCs had promised to pay the 13th cheque as soon as government had paid teachers, this has not been honoured.

The final school term of 2018 has just opened and yet many teachers and nonteaching staff who work under School Development Committees in government and council-run schools nationwide have not been paid their 2017 bonus.

“Many SDCs and their respective headmasters promised to pay the bonuses once the government teachers received their bonuses. The government has since honoured its promise as of June this year, but some schools are still heartlessly dragging their feet, giving all sorts of excuses for the delay,” he said.

Guchutu said the SDC’s precondition stance is illegal.

“There is no legal justification for such precondition but the affected employees have waited patiently. The union urges the SDCs in question to pay the 2017 bonus now as we are fast approaching November 2018 for 2018 bonuses,” he said.

Neuz further bemoaned the unfair labour practices in most schools, where employees have not been paid their benefits.

“The union further stands disturbed that in most schools nationwide there is non-provision of protective clothing, non-remittance of employees’ policy premiums, nonpayment of overtime, no outside allowance for drivers, the list is long,” said Guchutu.

In a warning letter that the union handed to the SDC chairperson at Churchill Boys High School last week, Neuz gave a deadline of September 14, 2018 for the 2017 bonuses to be settled.

“Basic prices have skyrocketed, so the employees are now victims of their patience and understanding,” noted Neuz.

During these economic trying times, employees have been helplessly subjected to unfair employment conditions, with jobs scarcity.

Neuz represents teachers and support staff in the education field.

The union strives to protect the violation of its members’ interests by representing members in cases of unfair labour practices mostly arising during salary and conditions of service disputes.

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