Teachers declare dispute over wage freeze

The Professional Teachers Union of Zambia (PROTUZ) has rejected the decree by government to impose a wage moratorium for two years and has since declared a collective bargaining dispute.

And the union has demanded that the distortions caused by the implementation of the single spine structure salary grading in the 2013 collective agreement be sorted out urgently.

PROTUZ general secretary Albert Muyembe said the 2014 negotiations for improved salaries and conditions of service that started in November 2013 had resulted in a declaration of a collective dispute in line with part IX section 75 and 76 of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act of the Laws of Zambia.

Mr Muyembe said the turn of events was as a result of a stand-off and failure to arrive at an agreement on the negotiation table between government and PROTUZ.

“The Union has rejected the wish of government to impose a wage moratorium for two years. This is unacceptable considering the rising costs of the food basket, depreciation of the Kwacha and rising costs of fuel among other issues,” said Muyembe.

He said that some of issues that need to be sorted out were Staff and Salary Scale Notches that would enable teachers to get their pay according to their qualifications and years of experience.

Meanwhile the union has appealed to all its members to keep calm and keep the HOPE alive as it moved to the next stage of conciliation.

Mr Muyembe said the process would commence next week and promised update their members on a regular basis.