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Zimbabwe Teachers Unions Split On Harare's Strike Settlement Offer

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association ended a strike by its members on Thursday after agreeing with the government on compensation, but the rival Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe rejected Harare's offer and said its members will stay out.

ZIMTA accepted Z$14 million (US$28) package including allowances, but the PTUZ said it intends to hold out for a base starting salary of Z$18 million plus allowances.

The deal accepted by ZIMTA represented a 422% increase in the salary for an entry -level teacher. But the package including allowances for housing and transport still left teachers short of the country's official poverty line set at $16.7 million in August.

President Takavafira Zhou of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that disgruntled ZIMTA members are urging his union to stay on strike as they don’t like their deal.

Meanwhile, PTUZ officials said police in Bulawayo have denied the union permission to mark World Teachers’ Day Friday with a public gathering. The union has sought relief from the Bulawayo high court, which was to hear the case Friday.

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