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Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Teachers and Lecturers
strike shuts down schools
Marwizi and Nqobani Ndlovu, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
September 30, 2007
the index of articles on the teachers' strikes
THOUSANDS of disgruntled teachers will tomorrow shun classrooms,
signalling the beginning of one of the most potentially crippling
strikes in the education sector since independence.
industrial action, over poor pay and what the teachers describe
as appalling working conditions could lead to the shutdown of all
government, mission and council schools in the country.
Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (ZIMTA) last week issued a circular
to its members, telling them to stop teaching until the government
raises their basic pay to $16 million a month.
earn around $3 million; the Poverty Datum Line is $16.7 million.
president Tendai Chikowore confirmed yesterday the teachers would
be on strike from tomorrow.
"All the teachers are aware that Monday the strike is starting,"
would not disclose their specific pay demands.
are confidential, between our members and the employers. We can't
discuss that with the press," she said.
has a membership of 58 000 teachers, making it the largest union
strikes called by the organisation have forced the government to
review their members' salaries.
said yesterday ZIMTA's announcement would effectively stop any teaching
activities in classrooms, after another teachers' union, the Progressive
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe announced that it was beginning
a full-scale strike from 24 September.
union said their members would not settle for anything less than
is not just students in primary and secondary schools who will be
hit hard by the strike.
lecturers and non-academic staff have also indicated they plan to
down tools this week to press the government for over 300% and 1
000% salary adjustments respectively.
want the government to raise junior lecturers' pay from $6 million
a month to above $25 million, excluding allowances. Non-academic
staff, among them cleaners, want their salaries raised to $13 million
from $934 000 before allowances.
their demand is granted, a junior lecturer and a cleaner will earn
over $35 million and $15 million respectively, inclusive of transport
and housing allowances.
Njekeya, a spokesperson for the Zimbabwe State Universities' Union
of Academics (ZISUA) and Readyforward Dube, the spokesperson for
non-academic staff yesterday told The Standard they would first
embark on a go-slow until the end of a two -week deadline before
embarking on an indefinite industrial action to force the government
to address their grievances.
the government does not award us what we want by next week, then
we will be left with no option but to down tools," Njekeya
said. "We are losing a number of lecturers every month and
at the moment there is a vacancy level of
over 65% (of lecturers) at the universities."
said: "Life has become very tough for non-academic staffers
who are earning less than $2 million while prices of goods and transport
keep shooting up."
comment could be obtained from Stan Mudenge, the Higher and Tertiary
Education Minister, who was said to be locked in meetings with representatives
of lecturers over salary issues.
country's ailing education sector is grappling with a shortage of
teachers and lecturers who have fled the economic crisis that has
driven other professionals to foreign lands.
government faces more work boycotts and street protests from inflation-weary
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