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THE progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) is demanding an urgent meeting with government to resolve the bonus issue.

This comes after the cash-strapped administration failed to pay teachers their annual bonus this week as expected.

In a statement Tuesday PTUZ said: “Owing to the confusion surrounding issues on bonus, the PTUZ is demanding an urgent meeting with the government.

“It is important that government seriously considers the plight of hard working civil servants and pay their bonus forthwith.

“It is very sad that government has preferred to remain silent after paying a section of its workforce way back in November.”

The group also hit out at the government for docking the salaries of junior doctors for the days they were on strike.

The decision was confirmed by Dr Paul Chimedza who was subsequently fired as deputy health minister.

Said the union: “It is equally sickening that they even garnished doctors’ salaries who had gone on strike for very good reasons. For that reason we say to the overzealous Dr Chimedza, ‘goodbye and please don’t come back’.

“Dr Chimedza was behaving as if the money was coming from his pocket. Surely doctors, like all civil servants, are underpaid. To the doctors we say going to court should be the last option.

“You will only get your docked salaries back by confronting the employer. If need be another strike to demand your money back is needed.”

The union queried statements given by Tongai Muzenda regarding civil servants bonuses. Muzenda has also been fired as deputy labour minister.

Said the group: “Muzenda was in the media suggesting that bonuses will be paid a week into 2015. That statement creates its own set of challenges:

1) Was Muzenda speaking on behalf of the government?

2) Where was he deriving the mandate?

3) Was that the official government statement?

4) Why was the position announced by the deputy Minister and not the Minister herself?

5) Is that position still obtaining?

“For the avoidance of doubt, the PTUZ has taken a decision that teachers would not report for duty for 2015 unless the outstanding issues of 2014 are addressed including the bonus.

“Teachers are not going to accept any excuse for failure to pay bonus forthwith. Let us hasten to remind you that your civil servants are bitter and feel used.

“Civil servants have families to look after. 34 years into our independence this is the worst Christmas civil servants have had to endure. Please, ZimAsset must benefit all of us not a chosen few.”

Source : New Zimbabwe