Tuesday 31 July 2012

Tanzanian teachers down tools over pay

July 30 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of thousands of teachers in public schools and colleges in Tanzania went on strike Monday after the government and the teachers' union failed to
agree on the teachers' pay rise.

Announcing the strike in a radio message, Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU) President Gratian Mukoba Mukoba told the teachers to "pull your blankets and sleep as a symbol of
the beginning of the indefinite strike." The strike followed a 48-hour notice that the TTU gave to their employer-- Ministry of Education and Vocational Training on Friday after
the two sides failed to agree on the pay rise before the Commission for Mediation and Administration (CMA). The teachers demanded doubling their salary with additional 55
percent hardship allowance for science and mathematics teachers and 50 percent for teachers of other subjects.They also demanded another 30 percent allowance for
teachers working in hostile circumstances. Moreover, the teachers also want to be paid their salary and allowance arrears accumulated for many years back.

The teachers' union and the education ministry took the issue to the CMA early last month, but the commission failed to resolve it after the ministry failed to give a precise
stand on the dispute. Before the teachers went on strike, the government issued a strong warning to those who would take part, saying they would be treading on an
illegitimate path because the issue was already in the court of law. Teachers who hold a certificate now earn a minimum monthly salary of 224,400 Tanzanian shillings (about
140 U.S. dollars), diploma holders start at 349,000 shillings (about 218 dollars), while graduate teachers begin with 450,000 (about 281 dollars). The teachers' strike came on
the heels of nationwide doctors' strikes in public hospitals in February and June over better pay.  (Xinhua)

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