President Emmerson Mnangagwa has met representatives of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) who requested that government increases their salaries to at least $3 000 or put it in US dollar equivalent.

The PTUZ leadership, led by its President, Dr Takavafira Zhou and Secretary General Raymond Majongwe, acknowledged that the meeting with Cde Mnangagwa was fruitful and historic in that it was the first time the union has met the presidium face to face to present their grievances.

At the meeting, President Mnangagwa committed to deliberate with relevant ministers on ways to address the plight of teachers, but the PTUZ representatives viewed the meeting as an opportunity to score a political point over rival teachers’ associations.

From the brief, the Zhou, Majongwe and other union leaders gave journalists audience where the former noted that teachers were not speaking with one voice in presenting their grievances to government, with their leaders more keen to play union politics instead of genuinely representing the interests of their members.

Majongwe claimed that despite being allegedly sidelined from other Apex Council meetings because of perceived ideological differences with other teachers’ unions, the meeting with President Mnangagwa was a sign that they are a key constituency.

In a document made available to the ZBC News at the meeting, the PTUZ also requested the government to introduce several new allowances, among them grade 7 allowance, invigilation allowance and ECD risk allowance.

They also requested that teachers be exempted from paying tuition fees for their children.