Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Teacher Strike Ends, But Their Demands Don't!

Zimbabwe’s teachers, who were this week awarded huge salary increments, are now demanding new salaries of Z$10 billion a month warning that they would resort to more strike action to press their demands.

Raymond Majongwe, the secretary general of the militant Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, said the new government elected during the 29 March elections should brace for more crippling strikes from teachers.

“We should remain organised for action. We have new demands for the second quarter - April to June 2008. Our demand for the second quarter is Z$10 750 600 (officially about US$325 000 but a mere US$300 on the widely used parallel market).

“Whichever party shall form the next government after the March elections should brace for more strike action from teachers because we are still not happy with the increments,” said Majongwe.

Teachers were pleasantly surprised this week when they saw huge salary deposits into their bank accounts.

The lowest paid teachers now earns about $3.9 billion a month, a huge jump from the $500 million they earned last month while the highest paid teacher now earns about $5.7 billion a month.

Political analysts said the move to award teachers and other government workers huge salary increments, a few weeks before a key election, smacked of vote-buying tactics by President Robert Mugabe.

The Zimbabwe government is desperate to placate hundreds of thousands of workers who are battling to make ends meet as they struggle with rampant inflation that at over 100 000 percent is the highest in the world. - ZimOnline

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