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Striking Zimbabwe Teachers Shift From Sitdown Tactic To Stayaway

Striking members of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe will no longer show up at schools for a sitdown but will stay home, the union announced on Monday.

The statement issued by the union also said it was “urging all teachers to unite in the strike,” indicating that it is calling upon members of the rival Zimbabwe Teachers Association to get on board the strike over wages.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association president Tendai Chikowore said her members are getting impatient but that the association's officers are asking them to stay on the job until Thursday as representatives are still in discussions with the government.

Teachers have rejected the government’s latest offer of a 100% basic salary increase plus significantly increased housing and transportation allowances.

The Progressive Teachers Union says it will settle for no less than a basic salary of Z$18 million (US$ 50) plus another Z$14 million in housing and transport costs.

In a related development, Progressive Teachers Union officials said their headquarters office in Milton Park, Harare, was ransacked over the weekend.

PTUZ General Secretary Raymond Majongwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the break-in will not change the union’s course or intimidate its members.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...