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Zimbabwe Government Averts Civil Servant Strike With 420% Increase

The Zimbabwe government averted a damaging strike by civil servants this week, said sources close to negotiations between the government and the Public Service Association, which represents state employees other than those in uniform.

PSA officials could not be reached for confirmation or comment. But sources said the PSA had canceled a strike set for Monday, releasing a statement saying civil servants had received an increase in salary sufficient to call off the threatened strike - though it fell short of demands, so the PSA would continue to engage the government.

The association had asked for base salaries over the poverty line now at $16 million a month. But the Internet-based news agency ZimOnline reported that the deal meant most civil servants would earn $14 million a month or about US$28.

The increase of some 420% was the same as that granted members of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association, which settled with the government though its larger rival, the Progressive Teachers Association of Zimbabwe said its strike would continue.

Director Dennis Nikisi of the Graduate School of Management at the University of Zimbabwe told reporter Patience Rusere that the new deal will stoke inflation as the government does not have the funds and will have to print more money.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...