Zimbabwe staff strike over 135% pay claim

October 25, 2002

An estimated 900 lecturers at the University of Zimbabwe are on strike, demanding a 135 per cent pay rise and a review of their salaries as hyperinflation and a shrinking economy make savage inroads into their living standards.

If the strike continues, examinations may have to be deferred to allow students to complete their courses.

Minister of higher education and technology Swithun Mombeshora held talks with the Association of University Teachers last week. But lecturers turned down an appeal from vice-chancellor Graham Hill to return to work while the minister sought the views of ministerial colleagues.

University spokesperson Elizabeth Karonga told The THES : "The university has been affected, but we can't judge the impact of the strike yet. However, the strike is taking place at a critical time for students."

An average lecturer's salary of about Z$60,000 (£705) a year after deductions, now translates into £75 to £93 at black-market rates, and academics are struggling to survive.

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