Wednesday 25 April 2018

Striking Angola teachers win new pay deal

Striking Angola teachers win new pay deal
(AFP 04/15/18)

Angolan teachers on Friday ended a strike after reaching a deal with the government on pay and conditions, their union said.

The teachers had begun the walk-out, originally planned to last for three weeks, on Monday in what was seen as President Joao Lourenco's first major labour challenge since he came to power in September.

"We have obtained an undertaking by the government that measures will be taken," the head of the teachers' union Sinprof, Guilherme Silva, told AFP at the end of more than 10 hours of negotiations.

Under the terms of the agreed deal, the teachers will be awarded a new status, including a new pay scale, Silva said.

Many Angolan schools that have been shut for five days are therefore likely to re-open on Monday morning.

For a number of years, teachers have been campaigning for better salaries and working conditions. Class sizes often reach 100 to 150 pupils.

Lourenco took over from Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who had ruled the country for 38 years.

The new president has vowed to revive the oil-dependent economy and improve funding for the public sector.

More than half of the country's population live below the poverty line.

Since coming to power, Lourenco has promised an "economic miracle" and an end to corruption.

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