The Zambia Teachers Forum (ZTF) in Muchinga Province has called on the Teacher Unions to go for salary negotiations  if they want to be relevant.

Zambia Teachers Forum (ZTF) Director for Muchinga Province Benny Chishatama said this in a press statement made available to the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Chinsali this morning.

Mr Chishatama said unions must realize that failure to have a new collective agreement when the 2019/2020 agreement expired on 30th June 2020 is going against the labour laws and a clear indication of imposed wage freeze on civil servants.

“COVID 19 must not be an excuse enough for Unions and Government to fail to have this important round table meeting that deals with serious issues pertaining to the welfare of teachers in the country,” he said.

Mr Chishatama stated that the pandemic is not known as to when it will end adding that pushing negotiations to December 2020 is not ideal.

“It is very unfair to the teachers because the economy is not favourably matching to their pay and the food basket, ” Stated Mr Chishatama.

Mr Chishatama added that the signing of the new collective agreement will instill trust among teachers to their Unions and act as a motivation package amidst COVID 19 adding that the meeting must be done before the national budget is presented.

“if not done now then in 2021 teachers will go without salary increment unless a miracle happens, ” he said.

He has however said the ZTF Muchinga Chapter is urging the Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) and Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FTTUZ) to be proactive and intervene in the current labour matters in the Education sector.

He said their silence speaks volumes and not inspiring confidence.

Mr Chishatama said ZTF is further encouraging Unions to strictly stick to their core business unlike the current scenario saying the act can be well coupled if teachers take time to study what is in the industrial and labour act Cap 269.

He said that way, they will make meaningful demands which will speak the common good and keep checking on the unions accordingly.

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