29 September 2023

Revolutionary greetings Cdes, your weekly update is here. Exams are upon us but the issue of invigilation contracts remains unresolved. The Union Secretary General , Cde Nikita Chere has vowed to take the issue up with ZIMSEC. ARTUZ members are not duty bound to invigilate until ZIMSEC agrees to enter into contracts with individual invigilators.

We have received news of the Cholera crisis in Buhera, we are glad that after our intervention a lot of organisations have descended on Buhera assisting with healthcare provisions. Government should work on providing clean water to all rural communities. Healthcare should be accessible to at least a 6km radius.

The new Minister of Education invited all Unions to a meeting yesterday Thursday 28 September 2023. We welcome the culture of dialogue. The Minister promised to announce a CALA review in 3 weeks time. Unions pushed for the conversion of USD allowances to salaries, so that those retiring can have a decent package. The Minister promised a follow up meeting with the Public Service Commission.

We received shocking news of teachers who are being asked to pay back money to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, ZEC. Apparently ZEC claim to have erroneously overpaid election officials and they want the money back. Luckily there is no contract. We urge the Teachers not to pay a dime back. In future ZEC will learn to enter into binding contracts with Service providers. But if ZEC can err on payments can we trust them to publish correct election results?

The SADC hype is still with us, but Cdes be rest assured that no outsider is coming to save us! The task of liberating Zimbabwe is on the shoulders of Zimbabweans.

Back to our Sector we are worried of former Schools Heads in Makonde, Chivi, Mwenezi and Gokwe among others who are clinging on to their posts after winning the 23 August elections. Public Service Commission is clear that such Teachers were retired on 27 July 2023. We will be deploying teams to interview these Heads to appreciate why they are clinging on to their posts illegally.

We have asked ZANU PF to donate the fleet of campaign vehicles towards social service delivery, since they are now in power. It is our understanding that ZANU PF uses State resources so there is nothing wrong for the people to also benefit from ZANU PF resources.

This week was a networking week, we entered into different agreements and further set the foundation for a marathon of programs.
Find below an update.
World Teachers Day preparations and ARTUZ welfare
There will be a World Teachers Day on October 5, 2023, as well as 16 days of gender activism. Therefore, it is crucial that we fully prepare the programs to add value to these initiatives.
In light of this, we have taken the initiative to invite teachers to write 2-page concept notes on innovative ways to push duty bearers to facilitate the enjoyment of the right to collective bargaining.

The Union will implement brilliant concepts harvested from teachers to fight for the right to collective bargaining in innovative ways.

We will select 10 winning concepts, one per province, and the winners will each receive a smartphone. These smartphones are intended to enhance their capacity to deliver e-learning services to our valued learners. Due date for submission is 4 October 2023.

Collaboration between ARTUZ and Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU)
We forged a collaboration with ZINASU to advocate for and monitor implementation of progressive social policies in the education sector such as free education, inclusive education and sanitary wear distribution.
In order to mentor young girls from tertiary institutions, we have established a partnership with ZINASU.
Here are the activities we aim to undertake:
Arrange student meetings for the next three years, totaling approximately 33 meetings.
Advocate for the rights of pregnant students and access to sanitary wear, with a feminist lens.
Organize debate competitions to advocate for the right to education.
Engage mentors from tertiary education institutions to assist in the competitions.
To provide students who will coach and mentor the children. This partnership ensures mutual benefit as we further the ARTUZ agenda while also advancing ZINASU’s goals.
Under this partnership, we will also host a female students’ summit and extend invitations to the next step.
Once we share the work plan, we will schedule the next meeting accordingly.
Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Union meeting
Together with Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Visually Impaired Teachers’ Union, Professional Educators Union of Zimbabwe, PEUZ, Educators Union of Zimbabwe, we have made a resolution emphasizing the continuous need to fight for the right to collective bargaining.
Under the banner of FOZEU, we are committed to demanding the full realization of collective bargaining rights. Additionally, we aim to continuously empower teachers and enhance the quality of education for the benefit of students and the entire education system.
As educators, we recognize that collective bargaining is vital for ensuring fair and equitable treatment, as well as improved working conditions, for all educators across the country. We have agreed to strategically plan a calendar of events and ARTUZ will support the monthly review of progress. The meetings will be conducted in a hybrid format.
MOU between ZINEF and ARTUZ
Furthermore, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum to disseminate information, with a particular focus on monitoring the implementation of progressive social policies in the education sector. We are also planning to host annual awards for the best newspaper article on the implementation of transformative and gender-equitable social policies within the education sector.
Other business

We will be collaborating with other teacher unions and holding consultation meetings with parents in schools.
Furthermore, we will be organizing community meetings with parents and guardians. In November, we plan to release our first quarterly magazine.

Have a great weekend Cdes. Congratulations Chelsea fans for your first goal and win against Brighton on Wednesday. Will be in touch next week, same day, same time and same platform.
Getting ready for a season of Victories!

Obert Masaraure
On behalf of ARTUZ Working Committee.