Auxilia Katongomara Chronicle Reporter
LECTURERS at the country’s state universities have called off their job action after the government re-assured them that they would be getting their bonuses this week. The lecturers and non-teaching staff downed tools two weeks ago in protest over unpaid bonuses and January salaries.
The government swiftly paid their salaries but they continued with the job action, maintaining that they were still incapacitated to carry on with their duties as they had not received their bonuses.
Zimbabwe State Universities Union of Academics president Alois Muzvuwe told Chronicle yesterday that they had called off the strike on Monday after meeting their employer to deliberate on the issue of bonuses.
“We had a meeting with our employer who was represented by the chairpersons of the university councils and we were told that we would be getting our bonuses before the end of this week,” said Muzvuwe.
He said that they had not tackled other grievances such as the need to have a fixed salary payment date as they sought to deal with the urgent issue of bonuses.
“We’re still consulting on the other grievances we had highlighted earlier on but we gave first preference to the most critical matter that was at hand, the issue of bonuses,” he said.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Deputy Minister Godfrey Gandawa said they were committed to paying the bonuses.
“The date hasn’t been set but government is committed to paying the bonuses.
“Frantic efforts are being made to mobilise funds,” he said.
The countrywide job action had resulted in the suspension of lectures at the National University of Science and Technology, Great Zimbabwe, Bindura, Gwanda, Chinhoyi and Lupane state universities.
In a letter addressed to chairpersons of all state universities, the lecturers demanded a fixed pay date from their employer and warned that they would not report for duty if they are not paid on time.