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Despite Pledge To Increase Pay, Salaries of Zimbabwe Teachers Delayed

Many Zimbabwean teachers became agitated Tuesday to find that neither their accustomed US$100 monthly allowances or the increased salary promised by the finance minister last week had been posted to their bank accounts as anticipated.

An emergency meeting was called between Education and Public Service ministries and representatives of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association. But the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, the main union, was not represented in that meeting, sources said.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti said last week that state employees as of this month would see an increase in their monthly allowances, though he did not indicate the exact amount.

Teachers have been demanding a base salary of US$454.00 a month.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association General Secretary Richard Gundani told VOA reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that government officials promised salaries will be paid next Monday.

Education Minister David Coltart told reporter Chris Gande that delays were unavoidable because the re-introduction of salaries meant more administrative work to provide for taxes and other deductions, promising salaries would be paid within a few more days.

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