The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) is a trade union that works to improve the working conditions and the right to education of rural teachers and students in Zimbabwe. We have identified the following as our main focus areas that will help us achieve these.
Membership Recruitment and Retention
Membership recruitment and retention are crucial for ARTUZ as they lay the foundation for building a strong movement. A diverse membership representing various geographical areas enhances the union’s bargaining power. Currently, ARTUZ has 4,534 subscribing members, and the objective is to increase this count to 15,000 over time. This growth will empower rural teachers to have a stronger voice in matters of labour justice and provide the union with additional resources. The strategic focus revolves around retaining current members and converting the 2,800 non-subscribing members into full members.
ARTUZ is actively working to amplify the voices of rural teachers in labour justice processes and expand the union’s resources. With a current base of 4,534 subscribing members, the union’s primary focus is on retaining these existing members and converting the 2,800 non-subscribing members into full members.
Strategic Goal: Strengthen the capacity of ARTUZ and its membership to effectively execute the goals ARTUZ is committed to ongoing capacity development through strategic initiatives. The focus is on strengthening both the institution and its membership to achieve the objectives of the strategic plan. Key activities include sustainable fundraising, resource mobilisation, mapping potential funding and strategic partners, creating alternative funding streams, and building capacity for training and research.
The organisation engages in sustainable fundraising activities and develops a resource mobilisation strategy to secure financial resources. Mapping potential funding sources and strategic partners is undertaken at national, regional, and international levels. Alternative funding streams are explored through entrepreneurial and special interest projects.
Capacity building initiatives include the establishment of the Thandiwe Leadership Dube School of Leadership for training union leaders and members in leadership and social justice. Paralegal training is provided to empower members with legal knowledge. Digital and financial literacy workshops are conducted in all provinces. Research projects relevant to the prevailing context are initiated.
ARTUZ’s focus is to equip its institution and membership with the necessary skills, resources, and knowledge to drive positive change.
Lobbying and Advocating for Social Change
A main focus of this strategic theme is uniting teachers and other workers for solidarity and joint action. We realise the need for a strong advocacy framework during the planning process. ARTUZ engages in active dialogue to position the welfare of teachers and learners as a top priority for policymakers. Additionally, the union advocates and takes action to challenge systematic human rights violations and repressive laws, promote labour justice and democracy, and address broader factors that contribute to inequality. The current five-year plan acknowledges emerging issues, such as climate change and its impact on underserved communities. Therefore, the union creates programs that align with these issues.
ARTUZ is actively involved in lobbying and advocating for social change by engaging with sister unions to build consensus. As an affiliate of the Federation of Zimbabwe Educators, ARTUZ participates in meetings and collaborates with other unions to make progressive strides in the ongoing fight for the right to collective bargaining.
Communication and Networking
The union aims to increase its visibility at the national, regional, and international levels through effective communication practices. This includes improving information flow within the organisation and cultivating strong networks.
ARTUZ is actively augmenting communication capacity within the institution and among its members to contribute to the successful attainment of all goals. ARTUZ is focused on increasing its physical presence nationwide, ensuring its voice and impact are widely recognised.
ARTUZ reinforces its influence, facilitates better information sharing, and establishes meaningful connections with stakeholders. The focus is on leveraging effective communication, the union creates a positive impact in the education sector and beyond.