via Zim teachers demand $1 000 increase | News24 2014-01-06
Zimbabwean teachers are reportedly readying for a bitter confrontation with the cash-strapped government, as they demand salary hikes of up to $1 000.
According to the Daily News, teachers’ unions were threatening to go on a nationwide strike as soon as schools open next week Tuesday if government didn’t meet their demand.
Teachers in Zimbabwe earn a basic salary of between $300 and $480 per month, but the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says a food basket for an average family of five now costs $540 a month.
A spokesperson for the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Takavafira Zhou, said teachers and civil servants were tired of unfulfilled promises by government.
A Newzimbabwe.com report said the ruling Zanu-PF party last year pledged to almost double civil service wages, but the adjustment was yet to be done, with little progress emerging from ongoing talks between the government and workers unions.
The government admitted facing a serious cash squeeze, with Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa lamenting the size of the state wage bill in his 2014 budget statement.
Zhou also called on President Robert Mugabe to own up to the promises he made ahead of last year’s elections.