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  • Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Teachers and Lecturers

  • Teachers call off strike
    February 23, 2007

    HARARE – Zimbabwean teachers yesterday called off a strike for more pay after the government, fearing a national revolt, agreed to hike their salaries by 600 percent. 

    The starting salary for a qualified teacher is now pegged at $528 000 per month without transport and housing allowances. The lowest paid teacher was getting $84 000 a month. 

    The Civil Service Staff Association Apex Council chairperson, Tendai Chikowore, yesterday confirmed that the council had called off the strike, which it announced on Tuesday. 

     “All civil servants, including teachers should now go back to work. We have come to an agreement with the government,” said Chikowore. 

    The entry salary for other civil servants could not be verified by the time of going to the press, with Chikowore insisting that “salaries are confidential”. 

    The Apex council represents all government employees numbering 180 000 but does not represent state doctors who remain on strike for more pay and better working conditions.  

    Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general, Raymond Majongwe, also confirmed that the industrial action had been called off. He said the lowest paid teacher would earn $528 000 a month. 

    “Yes, it’s correct. We have called off the strike because the government has agreed to give us the salaries that we were demanding,” said Majongwe, noting that agreement was still to be reached on allowances teachers should get. 

    Commentators yesterday said the government quickly agreed to the teachers’ demands fearing the teachers’ strike could spread to other state departments and could easily turn into mass revolt to unseat it from power. 

    The agreement comes barely two days after the police and supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) clashed in Harare leaving several people and police officers injured. 

    National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman Lovemore Madhuku said the government feared a collective revolt by teachers, civil servants and opposition supporters. 

    “It’s a political survival strategy by Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwean President). He knows people are angry and pleasing them would keep him in power for sometime,” said Madhuku, who has led several demonstrations against the government demanding a new and democratic constitution for Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline


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