Teachers on strike over pay in Tanzania
Tanzanian teachers went on strike on Monday to push for better pay joining doctors in demanding higher salaries as rising costs of living threaten to stoke social tension.
Many public schools across Tanzania were forced to suspend classes as teachers stayed at home.
The teachers’ strike comes on the heels of an on-off strike by doctors who have also been demanding salary increases and better working conditions.
About 200,000 teachers in the country voted overwhelmingly for the strike, ignoring a warning from the president that the boycott was illegal, the Tanzania Teachers’ Union said in a statement.
“Some 95.7 percent of our members voted in favour of the strike, hence validating the industrial action against the government as their employer,” Gratian Mukoba, chairman of the teachers’ union said in a statement.
Teachers want a pay hike of more than 100 percent from their current average monthly salary of around 500,000 shillings. The government said it was willing to raise their salaries by about 15 percent in the 2012/13 fiscal year.
Doctors launched another round of strikes last month after talks with the government over better pay and conditions failed to reach a compromise.
Tanzania’s year-on-year inflation rate fell to 17.4 percent in June from 18.2 percent a month earlier, but consumer prices remain high in the country.Reuters