Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
ABOUT 10 200 teachers will have their leave days deducted as punishment for embarking on an industrial action early this month, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has said.
Thousands of teachers participated in a strike called by the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) early this month demanding a salary increase and bettter conditions of service.
In a statement yesterday, PSC acting chairperson Mr Ozias Hove said the commission will not pay teachers for not working and a repeat of the industrial action will attract a more severe punishment.
“The PSC has noted isolated cases of abscondment by about 10 200 teachers for durations ranging from 1 to 4 days between 5 and 8 February 2019. The commission will employ the principle of “No Work, No Pay” to punish teachers who deserted their duties.
“The PSC would also like to advise all teachers who were absent from work without authority that deductions from their leave days (of the offending individuals) using the principle of no work no pay will be effected,” said Mr Hove.
He said the commission was treating the 10 200 as first offenders and a repeat will attract a more severe punishment.
Mr Hove said members of the civil service who reported for work but did not provide any services will be deemed to have been absent as they did not render any service at all.
“The industrial action was illegal as the Government was in the middle of negotiations with civil servants through the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC),” said Mr Hove.
Teachers downed tools for almost a week and the teachers’ unions called off the strike after the Government committed itself to operationalising non-monetary incentives and other benefits.
Sector-specific issues which the teachers want addressed include acting, head of department and examination allowances, accommodation challenges, corruption within Government when members want to transfer, among others.
They also want their children, up to three per individual, to be exempt from paying school fees at Government schools.