“Teacher’s salary can only buy 20 loaves of bread”


As bread prices continue to soar, public sector workers now compare and contrast their low wages with the number of loaves they can actually buy.

A loaf of bread in the country now costs between $600 and $945, well beyond the reach of many workers, the majority of whom earn $35,000 a month.

A teacher’s payslip seen by NewsDay yesterday revealed he was taking home $19,818, excluding the $75 COVID-19 allowance.

Following the latest bread increases, teachers across the country said a teacher’s salary was equivalent to 20 loaves of bread.

“This is an example of a rare pay stub for a teacher. It’s clean. No loan. Most teachers have three loan deductions and net about $9,000. The only money left significant is the 175 dollars (100 dollars salary) Remember this is a teacher who used to earn US$540 before October 2018,” said Tafadzwa Munodawafa, president of the Zimbabwe Union of Educators, adding that low wages were a travesty for the profession.

“Our members and the fellowship as a whole have made it clear that it is no longer possible to continue working despite the current economic difficulties. Currently, a teacher at the entry point earns roughly two dozen loaves of bread. It is absurd to say the least,” Munodawafa said.

“As a union, we have come to understand that the government does not respect the process of dialogue. The employer has continued to give us a hard time. Our real demands for a sustainable wage which should contribute to our system of pensions continue to be ignored. We have no choice but to organize to resist slave wages. I call on all leaders of teachers’ unions and other government workers’ unions to come together to chart a collective course as the members we represent expect of us.”

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President Obert Masaraure said: “Teachers only earn $20,000 a month (excluding COVID-19 and cushion allowance), a salary that can only pay $20 loaves of bread. Teachers are starving, and cannot afford to access basic services such as education, health care and housing, among others.”


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