Teachers Want Incentives to Stay PDF Print E-mail

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Most teachers want incentives to stay   
Monday, 20 February 2012 00:00
[Tony Mhonda]

Tony Mhonda

Wencelous Murape Labour Reporter

SOME parents want the gradual scrapping of public service teachers' incentives as Government reviews their salaries.

Some teachers in State schools are now earning well above the poverty datum line calculated at US$565 a month.Even Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister David Coltart recently hoped that the incentives would be eventually scrapped as salaries rise.

But most teachers want incentives to become a permanent feature, saying the PDL should not be used to mark their earnings as they are professionals, not unskilled workers.
This comes as rural teachers have been granted state-paid incentives set at 20 percent of their gross salaries which works out to an average of US$84 a month.

Rural teachers feel incentives are unfair, as usually only families can afford to pay extra and some rural teachers want urban teachers to join them in collective job action for better pay.
Urban teachers rarely strike since they would then lose their incentive pay.
Teachers' incentives vary with those in low-density suburbs and mission schools tending to get more than those in high-density schools.

But teachers in Government schools tend to get between US$150 and US$300 a month as incentives.
This is on top of the US$419 salary that was reviewed up from US$353 at the beginning of this month.
Teachers at Glen View High School are reportedly getting US$200 per month as an incentive.
Rakodzi High School in Marondera is giving teachers US$150 per month.
The Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture has instructed that all schools keep their incentive bill at a maximum of 15 percent of the levies charged.

A circular dated September 30, 2011 concerning payment of incentives was send to all provincial education directors by the acting secretary of education Mr Lazarus Bowora.
According to the Circular, SDCs' should allocate 10 percent of the levies for teachers' incentives, while five percent goes to the non-teaching staff.

"Please ensure that this is strictly adhered to and appropriate disciplinary action should be taken against anyone who deviates from the provisions of this Circular," wrote Mr Bowora.
One example of teachers fighting the gradual scrapping of incentives is at Lord Malvern High School in Harare who are objecting to a downward adjustment of their incentives.

"Initially, teachers were given US$200 each per month, but we were informed last week that each teacher was to receive US$150, while non-teaching staff would receive US$50," said one teacher who requested anonymity as civil servants are not permitted to speak to media without written permission from their parent ministry.

The head of the school Mr Dandawa said he could not comment as there are official ways of communicating with the press.
Teachers in trust and private schools are not civil servants and their salaries are paid in full from fees with no input or contribution from the Government.





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