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Zimbabwe Teachers Remain in Schools for New Term - But Demand Action on Pay


PTUZ President Takavafira Zhou and Zimbabwe Teachers Association President Tendayi Chikowore said they have been encouraged by statements from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that the government is re-examining public pay

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said Monday that its members will report for duty Tuesday as a new school term opens - but added that the government has two weeks to raise salaries or face a possible strike.

Both PTUZ President Takavafira Zhou and Zimbabwe Teachers Association President Tendayi Chikowore said they have been encouraged by statements from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that the government is examining their situation.

Zimbabwe's state employees are demanding salaries of some US$600 a month compared with salaries that now top out at US$200. Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said the government cannot afford increases, so wages are frozen.

Zhou, refuting reports by the state-controlled Herald newspaper that his members would stay away on the first day of the new term, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that his union will keep fighting for higher salaries.

ZIMTA President Tendai Chikowore said her organization union wants dialogue with the government, not confrontation.

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