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Union For Striking Zimbabwe Teachers Rejects 91% Wage Increase

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said Thursday that the government offered striking teachers a 91% salary increase, adding Z$2.6 million to the present basic wage of Z$2.9 million for a total of Z$5.5 million dollars - but the union said it rejected the "pathetic" offer, demanding a monthly minimum of Z$15 million.

Many union members went on strike Monday though the PTUZ's two-week notice to the government that it intended to strike was not to expire until next week.

The Progressive Teachers Union accused the rival Zimbabwe Teachers Association - seen as closer to the government - of selling out by accepting the state offer.

PTUZ President Takavafira Zhou told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that teachers will stay on strike until their demands are met.

For its part, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association denied that a 91% raise was on the table and also denied passing out circulars urging members to accept the offer.

ZIMTA President Tendai Chikowore said it is normal for the union to send around circulars to update members on the progress being made in negotiations.

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