Talks aimed at finding a solution to the standoff between the government and its workers broke down on Friday after unions demanded the suspension of striking teachers be lifted as a precondition for signing a deal.

The National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC), representing the government, and the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Unions (ZCPSTU), formerly APEX, representing civil servants, disagreed on the suspension of teachers who have been absent from work since they invoked the incapacity.

Teachers who have not reported for work since schools opened earlier this week risk being suspended for three months without pay.

In a statement released after the meeting on Friday, the ZCPSTU said, “The agreement could not be signed due to a continuing issue regarding the government’s intention to suspend teachers who failed to report for work. due to disability.We therefore call on the government to respect the labor rights of workers as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The parties had agreed on several issues, some of which had already been announced this week by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.

These include a 20% upward revision of gross emoluments (base salary), transport allowance, housing allowance with retroactive effect to January 2022 and a salary component of $100 payable in hard currency at all levels starting March 1, 2022.

According to the ZCPSTU and the NJNC, the payment of a Covid-19 indemnity of USD 75 would continue.

Other incentives would include the introduction of a home ownership loan guarantee scheme available to all civil servants; payment of arrears of performance advancement awards from 2012 to date with immediate effect as well as improving the efficiency of processing duty refunds on imported motor vehicles by government officials.

The government has also agreed to pay a maximum school fee of Z$20,000 for up to three biological children per term per child from a teacher family and the provision of one-time special transport to transport the children. teachers in rural and urban areas.

However, worker representatives have advocated for the government to consider moving the effective date of implementation of the US$100 package from March 1 to January 1, 2022; reverse the decision to suspend teachers who failed to report to work; to extend the tuition benefit to the rest of the civil service, as the board agreed that quarterly exams would continue.

Teachers’ unions had expressed concern over their inability, urging members not to report to work until their demands had been met.

The teachers are demanding their October 2018 salary of $540 and other incentives from the employer, and the talks have brought nothing positive to the teaching fraternity in public schools.