Arab Today, arab today zimbabwe teachers suspend strike
Last Updated : GMT 21:53:08
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Zimbabwe teachers suspend strike

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Zimbabwe teachers suspend strike

Harare - AFP

Zimbabwean teachers said Saturday they will suspend their 11-day strike to consider government\'s offer of an increase that fell nearly 90 percent short of their demands. The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe went on strike on June 22 to demand that government raise their salaries from the current $200 a month to $500 a month. Government late Friday offered teachers an average increase of $34, said union leader Takavafira Zhou. \"The award by government of an average of 34 dollars falls far short of our expectations,\" he said. \"We will go back and re-strategise and get ready to fight another day. There are a number of issues that should be addressed, including the issues of transport and housing allowances,\" he said, adding that teachers would return to the classroom on Monday. The strike was only partially observed as the rival Zimbabwe Teachers Association, which is aligned with veteran President Robert Mugabe, had discouraged teachers from joining the stayaway. The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says that an average family of five needs $500 a month to survive, but the cash-strapped government insists that figure is unaffordable as the nation claws its way back from a decade-long economic collapse. The country\'s public-sector workers, particularly teachers, nurses and doctors, have been striking on and off for better salaries and working conditions since 2008. Many have left the country to work overseas, while those who have remained behind often resort to moonlighting as small-time traders to supplement their pay. Teachers also want a review of their housing and transport allowance and the removal of \"ghost workers\" from the government payroll. Zimbabwe has 105,000 teachers on the payroll, but Zhou\'s union estimates only about 77,000 are working. Inflated payroll numbers are a problem throughout the civil service, with Finance Minister Tendai Biti estimating that about one-third of the government\'s 230,000 employees do not exist.

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