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A Second Zimbabwean Teachers Group Joins Ongoing National Strike

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association said Thursday that its members have joined their colleagues from the rival Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe in a strike to enforce their demand that salaries be pegged to the national poverty line.

The association said its 55,000 members are participating in the strike, effectively paralyzing the education system. The rival PTUZ went on strike in January.

Association officials would not state their exact salary demand, but PTUZ leaders have asked for an entry-level salary of $1.7 billion (US$80). The government just gave a large boost in pay to army officers, drawing criticism from other public employees.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association Secretary General Richard Gundani told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that teachers will only return to work if they are paid enough to get to work and meet their living expenses.

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