Zimbabwe: More teachers suspended for striking

JOHANNESBURG, 29 October (IRIN) - The impasse between striking teachers in Zimbabwe and the government over better pay continued on Tuesday as a further 230 teachers were served with letters of suspension.
So far close to 700 teachers have been ordered not to turn up for work following a break-down in talks between the government and the Progressive Teacher's Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), the union told IRIN.

"Contrary to reports none of the 627 teachers that were fired had been reinstated. In fact, just today [Tuesday] 230 of our members received letters of suspension. They have been ordered to stay away from schools," PTUZ spokesman Macdonald Mangauzani said.

Mangauzani added that the suspension held for three months and that teachers would not be remunerated during this time. Moreover, teaching staff would not be allowed to leave the country without the permission of the department of education and could not seek other employment while under suspension.

With a backdrop of 135 percent inflation, teachers began the nationwide strike on 8 October. They are demanding a 100 percent salary increment backdated to January this year and another 100 percent cost of living adjustment backdated to June.

On Monday, Minister of Education, Aeneas Chigwedere, announced that the government would assess the conditions of service for teachers, in a move that will see them receiving hefty salary increments in January next year, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported.

Zimbabwean teachers are among the poorest paid in the region. A high school teacher takes home Z $20,000 (US $365) a month.


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