Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
There is disharmony within the civil service following a salary increase effected by Government this month that has resulted in some teachers earning more than their headmasters.The gross monthly salary of a senior degreed teacher who is in grade E1 is pegged at US$548 while that of a deputy head in grade D5 is pegged at US$530.
Senior teachers would also earn the same salary with some deputy headmasters in grade E1.
Headmasters and their deputies attending a Zimbabwe Teachers Association conference in the capital said the recent salary increment did not recognise grade, qualification, promotion and experience.
Zimta president and Apex council team leader, Mr Richard Gundani said a situation where a headmaster earned less or equal that of his subordinate compromised the spirit and principle of supervision.
He said the difference between the lowest paid teacher whose salary stands at US$500 is a dollar with the next level, meaning there was no incentive for one to be promoted, better qualified or experienced.
“There is more bunching now after the increment than before. So in our salary scale we have a mix up where some juniors are earning more than their seniors. Some people who were at the bottom received 37 percent and those on the top received 20 percent creating a compression of salary structure,” said Mr Gundani.
He said there was confusion on how the Results Based Management system was being applied as one could get a performance based increment before the process of assessment was concluded.
Zimta, he said, would push for the convening of an urgent National Joint Negotiating Council to iron out these issues.
The Apex council, Mr Gundani said, would lobby for the setting up of a Civil Service Employment Council modelled along South Africa where they conducted a study tour three years ago together with Government representatives.
In South Africa, the council was independent with its own secretariat and budget.
“The National Joint Negotiating Council structure is not strong enough to spearhead the changes that we would want effected. It gives too much power to the Government. They will have meetings when they want, in their own offices, using their facilities and secretariat of Government. You can’t have equal participation in this process,” said Mr Gundani.
The four-day conference is running under the theme “Quality Teachers, Quality tools and Quality Environment, A must for public education”.