This week marks the beginning of the powerful campaign by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), where the union will implement persistent actions in its fight for a fair wage. The campaign #MyFairWage seeks to justify the demand for USD 1 260 and applying pressure on duty bearers to deliver a fair wage.

The union is committed to the well-being of the girl child, fighting for her right to menstrual health.Moreover, ARTUZ denounces the unjust distance between schools and clinics, highlighting how this barrier denies them access to essential healthcare services.The union refuses to accept a system that devalues its members’ lives.

The union refuses to back down until the demand for a fair wage is not only acknowledged but fully respected for teachers.ARTUZ shall engage in weekly campaigns, focusing first on the dire state of the healthcare system during this Health Week.

Healthcare should not be a luxury reserved for the privileged few. When illness strikes, the financial burden should not suffocate teachers, nor should educators be held hostage by exorbitant charges for subpar services. Hospital stays should not resemble expensive lodges, bleeding their pockets dry.

The union has seen firsthand the insidious nature of medical aid, with shortfalls so astronomical that they render it useless.Members have languished for months, unable to obtain basic necessities like spectacles and hypertension medication as their own health scheme fails the teachers. Sadly, teachers have been pushed to private facilities, only to encounter broken machines, insufficient supplies, and shortfalls that demand exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses.

But the union will not be silenced. It stands united, a force to be reckoned with. Teachers are being shamefully let down by the abysmal performance of the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), which is now a dysfunctional mess. This organization, despite being the major service provider for teachers and other civil servants, is failing miserably in its duty to provide accessible and affordable health insurance to government employees.

ARTUZ shall fight until the demands of the teachers are met. The union will not back down until healthcare becomes a birthright and until every member is treated with the dignity they deserve.

The Union is demanding USD 180 for health care insurance as part of the basket of USD 1 260 monthly income. In this week running from 13 May to 19 May, the Union will demand health care for all.

Next week will be dedicated to access to education. The Union will justify the demand for USD 1 260 and further apply pressure on duty bearers to deliver.