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Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Teachers and Lecturers
grind to a halt as teachers heed strike call
Patricia Mpofu, ZimOnline
October 02, 2007
the index of articles on the teachers' strikes
HARARE - Zimbabwe
public schools ground to a halt on Monday after the majority of
teachers heeded calls by teachers' unions not to report for
duty until their demands for better pay and working conditions were
The country's largest
teachers' union, the Zimbabwe Teachers Union (ZIMTA) last
week called on teachers to down tools, saying the government had
failed to respond to their demands for improved salaries.
The strike by
ZIMTA, which is pro-government, comes hardly a week after the militant
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) urged its members to embark
on an industrial action in protest over their poor salaries and
The teachers' strike
comes as it emerged yesterday that the bulk of the civil servants,
who are among the least paid workers in Zimbabwe, were also contemplating
joining the teachers' strike demanding better pay.
The lowest paid government
workers earns Z$500 000 a month, enough to buy just about two loaves
A survey by ZimOnline
yesterday showed that there was no learning taking place at most
schools in Harare with some pupils spending the better part of the
morning loitering in school grounds.
Similar reports were
also recorded in the major cities and towns such as Masvingo, Bulawayo,
Gweru and Mutare.
ZIMTA president Tendai
Chikowore refused to comment on the strike amid reports that the
teachers' union was under pressure from suspected state security
agents to call off the industrial action.
Sources within the ZIMTA
and the PTUZ said they had received several calls from suspected
state agents urging them to halt the job action with several teachers
saying state agents had visited schools in Harare to check on teachers'
Raymond Majongwe, the
secretary general of the PTUZ, said he had received a death threat
on his mobile phone warning him to call off the country-wide strike
that has paralysed operations at most schools.
"I received a death
threat on my phone yesterday (Sunday) from unidentified people who
said I must call off the strike," said Majongwe.
There were also several
reports of harassment of teachers in Mhondoro, Ngezi, Zaka and Chinhoyi.
The teachers want the
government to increase salaries from the current Z$2.9 million to
Z$32 million a month, revised upwards from the initial demand of
Z$15 million a month.
Lecturers and non-academic
staff at state-run universities are also said to be mulling industrial
action this week to press President Robert Mugabe's government
to hike salaries by between 300 and 1 000 percent.
have also issued threats to embark on industrial action. The junior
doctors, want their salaries hiked to Z$120 million a month, up
from the $6 million they are currently earning.
The new salary
demands were tabled at a meeting held by the doctors and the Health
Services Board last week.
In a statement
released yesterday, the Crisis
in Zimbabwe Coalition urged the government to quickly resolve
the strike by teachers and doctors.
"The Crisis Coalition
in Zimbabwe calls upon the government of Zimbabwe to address the
demands by the teachers and doctors in order to stabilise the education
and health system in the country," read the statement.
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