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Guinea Says Accord Reached With Teachers; Schools to Reopen

  • Associated Press

People demonstrate in a street on Feb. 21, 2017, in Conakry where at least six people died during violent protests as people demonstrated over teachers' strikes that have closed schools for the past three weeks, government sources said.

Guinea's government has signed an agreement with the country's two largest teachers' unions, it said, ending strikes that closed schools since the beginning of the month.

At least five people were killed Monday when police reacted to student protests supporting the teachers and demanding an agreement so they could return to classes. The violence wounded 30 others, and police arrested 12, the government said.

The government said teachers would have to wait until September for the salary increases, but other details of the agreement, signed late Monday, were not available. The strikes began in early February for pay raises and better training for contracted teachers.

Souleymane Sy Savane, secretary-general for Guinea's Free Trade Union of Teachers and Researchers, said schools will re-open Wednesday as negotiations continue.

But others said they do not agree with the settlement and want the pay increase as early as February.

"This agreement is binding only for the trade union officials who signed it, and we are basically challenging it until the reevaluation [pay raise] is effective," Kalidou Diallo, the administrative secretary of the union told private radio station Lynx FM early Tuesday.

The unions said Monday that the strike would continue until a pay raise of between 7.5 to 10.3 percent is granted.

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