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Zimbabwe teachers to strike over salaries: union
Agence France-Presse
August 28, 2009

Zimbabwe teachers will strike next week, as schools are scheduled to re-open after the mid-year holiday, to press for better salaries, their union announced Friday.

"Educators have, as a last resort, resolved to proceed to withdraw labour with effect from September 2, 2009 until demands are met," Tendai Chikowore, president of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), told journalists Friday.

Chikowore said the unity government formed six months ago had failed to resolve their grievances, especially over salaries.

"Since March 2009, lots of promises to address educators grievances by the employer have proven to be a non-event," Chikowore said.

Zimbabwe teachers earn 165 US dollars (114 euros) a month, but are demanding at least 502 dollars.

Teachers and other civil servants began receiving salaries in US dollars after the formation of the unity government, but all workers receive the same amount, regardless of experience.

Doctors at state hospitals went on strike for two weeks this month, also demanding increases, but went back to work Wednesday after realising the government simply had no money to pay them more.

Zimbabwe's schools, once the best on the continent, have crumbled over the last decade, with a shortages of books and other supplies while teachers have left the job or moved overseas in search of better pay.

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