The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has announced plans to sue President Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing him of failing to include amendments to the Public Service Act in his legislative agenda for the current Parliament.
ARTUZ claims the current law does not adequately protect rural teachers’ rights and working conditions, and that the President’s inaction is a violation of their constitutional rights.
In an interview with State of The Nation, ARTUZ President, Obert Masaraure said Zimbabwean Labor Laws do not sync with rural teachers’ rights and expectations as they should.
“The agenda is to align the Public Sector Labor Laws to the Constitution, which provide for the right to strike but on normal grounds, it is criminalised to do so.
“Every teacher has a right to a paid maternity leave according to the Constitution, but if you go through the act, it doesn’t provide for that. These are the issues we wish to be looked into since they have been amended in the 9th Constitution,” said Masaraure.
He said it is a basic tenant of workers’ rights that they should be able to speak up and defend their rights without fear of retribution.
“At the centre of addressing the welfare of a worker is the right to protect the employer. But when your right has been violated and you’re barred from complaining, it’s not fair.
“This is unacceptable as we look at the standard labour laws, it is clear violation of rights. ARTUZ will take court action on this particular issue until it’s finally resolved because civil servants are not enjoying their rights,” he added.
Previously, the government has ordered teachers not to strike, threatening to fire them from work.
However, teachers in Zimbabwe have been advocating for better pay, as inflation has taken a toll on the value of the local currency.