PRIMARY and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema has directed school authorities to submit names of teachers who have not been reporting for duty since the reopening of schools last month as Government moves to enforce the “no work, no pay” principle.
The number of teachers reporting for duty has decreased since schools reopened last month as they are citing incapacitation.
According to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the situation is more pronounced in Bulawayo and Harare as some teachers elsewhere have ignored the call for strike by their unions.
In Bulawayo, only 50 percent of teachers have turned up for duty with pupil attendance pegged at 68 percent.
Speaking in Parliament during a question-and-answer session, Minister Mathema said his ministry is working with school heads to gather attendance information including names of teachers at all the schools not reporting for duty.
The information will then be forwarded to the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
Minister Mathema warned that there will be consequences for teachers who are not attending lessons.
“I have heard that there are some schools where teachers are not going to work. What we are saying is that no work, no pay to those teachers who are not at work. We are working with school heads to have registers so that I pass on that information to the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare,” he said.
The minister said he has not received any representation from teachers’ unions pertaining to their grievances.
“We cannot have a situation where teachers just decide not to go to work. As the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, I have not received any representation from any of the teachers’ unions in the country. So, no work, no pay,” he said.
Speaking during a Covid-19 Taskforce meeting in Bulawayo last Tuesday, Provincial Deputy Education Director Mr Thabani Sibanda said two weeks ago, the ministry sampled 75 schools for teacher and learner attendance.
From that sampling, statistics showed that the teacher attendance drastically dropped due to incapacitation notices forwarded to schools, districts and the province.
Cabinet last week reiterated that negotiations for improved conditions of service remain open under the National Joint Negotiating Council and that the ‘no work, no pay policy’ will be strictly enforced.
Government offered a 25 percent salary increment to civil servants from this month while a further 50 percent would be effected in June.
Three weeks ago, Government met its employees and outlined constraints being faced, emanating from a prolonged economic shutdown owing to the lockdown measures instituted to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, during which revenue generation was reduced to virtual insignificance.
Further, Government coffers are stretched since it is paying for vaccines, with the aim of administering doses to at least 10 million people to achieve herd immunity.
Government has set aside US$100 million to buy Covid-19 vaccines.
However, Government has remained committed to fulfilling the payment of salaries and benefits to all civil servants, including those who were at home during the long periods of national lockdown.