Govt plans to move teachers
new law was being abused, especially the retrenchment provision under Section 12 (C) of the Labour (Amendment) Act.
“It takes away the procedural barriers to retrenchment, which previously made retrenchment very cumbersome in terms of steps the employer had to go through and in terms of retrenchment packages,” said Mr Mucheche.
“The legal implication is that the employer’s right to retrench and compensation application is now a statutory position, hence serious abuse by employers.”
Mr Mucheche said to avoid abuse of the law there was a need for urgent amendment of the Labour Act to strike a balance between the competing interests of the workers and employers.
“The law should provide for job security, which is a crucial issue for companies to be productive,” he said.
“The absence of job security is counter-productive as it is demotivating to workers and the country is faced with loss of skilled labour force.”
Another labour law expert Mr Tendai Toto, said the company management should be held accountable for wrongful and reckless conduct of poor corporate management that plunge corporate entities into illiquid status. “Corporate law recognised civil liability claims creditors (workers included) against company by management and directors for damages arising from complicit acts of commission and omission, fraudulent and negligent business trading practices that lead to actual and potential loss of employment by the workforce and losses to creditors,” he said.
“While the burden of proof is onerous in claims of this nature, it will take one determined and astutest creditor and shareholders to clean up the mess by taking corporate management to account,” he said.
He said management often refrained from taking responsibility and accountability on many corporate downturns. THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has embarked on an exercise to redeploy teachers, a move aimed at addressing staff shortages.
The Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavima told The Chronicle that the Government was working on a rationalisation programme that will see teachers being transferred from schools that are over-staffed to those in need of more educators.
He said the process was being conducted in conjunction with the Public Service Commission.
Prof Mavima said delays in the rationalisation process for teachers were creating an illusion that there is a serious shortage of teachers in the country.
He said through the rationalisation process, teachers will be redeployed depending on the staffing needs of each school.
“The Government’s position is that we’re conducting a rationalisation process to identify schools that are overstaffed and those that are understaffed. Collaborative efforts between the Public Service Commission and our ministry are underway and we’re going to fill these positions where some schools have teacher shortages,” Prof Mavima.
He said they will be filling up vacancies in schools where teachers might have left or died.
“What we have is not really a shortage so rationalisation is necessary and we need the people on the ground, the provincial education directors, and the district education officers to help in expediting the process,” he said.
His sentiments come at a time when some schools in Matabeleland North are operating with skeletal staff.
For example, Nengasha Primary School only opened last week, three weeks after schools opened, with one teacher who doubles up as its headmistress teaching the Grade Seven class only.
Parents there have been urged to engage volunteers to teach their children from Grade One to Grade Six.
Quizzed on why the school has one teacher and the issue of parents seeking volunteers to teach their children, Prof Mavima said the ongoing redeployment will address that.
“As much as you’re concerned, we’re concerned also. We really need to move fast so that we can correct these issues you’re talking about.
“It is also not a ministry’s position to have parents employing volunteer teachers. We can’t achieve quality education if volunteers are deployed in schools because we won’t be able to control them,” said Prof Mavima.
The Government’s move to redeploy teachers comes at a time when the police, the Judicial Service Commission, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority are also redeploying their officers.— @nqotshili.
“Retrenchments, layoffs and salary cuts for middle and junior workers are sacrificial excuses employed by management as cover up of their own complicit, incompetence and intentionally wrong investment priorities and the lack of vision and due diligence,” said Mr Toto.
“Employers through the uninformed myopic and selfish thinking by senior management and company executives believe that workers are shelf tools of trade that are disposable without due regard and recognition to the importance of a motivated human capital to productivity and profitability.”
With the prevailing harsh economic climate workers bear the agony of poor corporate governance by top managers. Top management at some companies have conducted job evaluation without the involvement of employees and went on to downgrade some employees, affecting their salaries and taking away a host of allowances that they had been enjoying.
The July 17, 2015 Supreme Court judgment, which allowed employers to terminate employment contracts on three-month notice, has provided a perfect sanctuary for uninformed top managers to hide their shortcomings.
They are content with a mindset that when things seem to be going in the negative, the obvious and common “witch is the workforce” who all of a sudden become a liability to the firm.
A baboon strolls along a street in Pumula South, Bulawayo, yesterday. Troops of them are invading homes in the area in search of food. Story on Page 2 (Picture by Eliah Saushoma)
Professor Paul Mavima