Teachers divided over strike in Tanzania

Some of Tanzania's 200,000 primary and secondary school teachers began a strike for better working conditions on 30 July. 

The striking teachers are demanding a more than 100 per cent increase from their current average monthly salary of about 500,000 shillings. The government conceded it would be willing to raise the teachers' salaries by around 15 per cent in the 2012/13 fiscal year.

The action, which has caused divisions among the country's teachers, has forced the closure of many public schools across Tanzania.

The Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Saidi Meck Sadiki said that out of the 12,310 primary school teachers in the city, 3,715 did not report for duty since the strike began, while 742 of the city’s 4,332 secondary school teachers also failed to turn up in their classrooms.

The government say that the strike is illegal and that the striking teachers could face disciplinary and legal action. However the Tanzania Teacher's Union (TTU) claims that its members on strike are not breaking any law and that over 95 per cent of the country’s teachers voted for the action.

The labour division of Tanzania's High Court will give its ruling over the dispute between the government and teachers on 2 August.

Tanzania's doctors have engaged in similar strike actions in recent weeks, all of which have failed to result in a compromise.