The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) is an organisation founded in 2009, working for the improvement of the working conditions of rural teachers as well as the right to education in rural areas of Zimbabwe.
The Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, RTUZ was launched officially in Harare on the 12th of March 2013. The launch of the RTUZ set the tone for the fight for the improvement of both the working conditions of the rural teachers and the livelihoods of citizens living in the rural areas. The idea to form the rural teachers union was mooted in 2009 when the government of Zimbabwe introduced the incentive scheme in which teachers were to get 10% of levy paid by pupils.
The incentive scheme benefited already privileged urban teachers. The rural teachers went on to meet in Gweru in August 2009 where the teachers unanimously resolved that the rural teacher had peculiar challenges that can best be represented by an autonomous, issues based specific union to amplify the voice of the rural teacher in the pressing of their demands to the government .
The State created a rival Union with a name almost similar to RTUZ to confuse potential members and partners. In 2016 the Union amalgamated with teachers who had been recruited into the state created Union. RTUZ was subsequently renamed to Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ to cater for the incorporation of new members and to draw a distinction between the two Unions.
In 2017 under the Safe Schools Campaign, ARTUZ filed a complaint with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, ZHRC. The complaint was against the ZANU PF party which was abusing teachers, learners and schools’ property in pursuit of private political interests. ZHRC conducted an investigation and produced a damning report against the ZANU PF party and made recommendations to government to outlaw political activities in our schools. As a follow up to the ZHRC report, a court order barring the ZANU Pf party from abusing the school ecosystem was sought. ARTUZ in partnership with Veritas secured a court order granted by Justice Mafusire barring ZANU PF from accessing our schools. The order was technically reversed at Supreme Court. The Union has set up a five member Safe schools working group which is pursuing the realization of holistic safety in our schools.
ARTUZ has established solid partnership with Civic society actors such as Citizens’ Manifesto, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, VERITAS, Counselling Service Unit, Heal Zimbabwe Trust, Zimbabwe Peace Project and Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum among others. The teachers’ Union has applied to join the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, ZCTU and is currently working with sister union, Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe to advance the rights of teachers.
ARTUZ has strived to provide rapid response solidarity to members who are victims of state brutality. Such solidarity includes prison visit, catering for welfare of families, court support, legal support and documenting all violations.
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Obert Masaraure, the president of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) said they will not waste time going to work and will only resume duties when government has created a conducive teaching environment for all.
POLICE yesterday ruthlessly crushed a demonstration organised by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) at Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s offices and arrested the union’s eight top leaders .
Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) will lead the process of reconstituting the Parents Teachers Association, PTA at a national level and build structures down to school level.
Greatly honored to be invited to a Congress of a fighting, innovative and impactful teachers union. The employer brutalises and discriminate against @ARTUZ comrades because it knows that you are an independent and genuine union. Aluta Continua
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