Teachers, nurses, doctors and civil servants have been taking industrial action since last Wednesday calling for an immediate review of salaries and benefits.
In the capital Harare, the strike has been compounded by the ongoing strike by council workers who downed tools last Wednesday, demanding a rise in their salaries.
The Public Service Association (PSA - affiliated to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) said its members were forced to take action after giving the government until the end of February to the review their wages. These local government workers are especially angry due to military and police personnel being awarded substantial salary raises and soft loans. Work at government offices have ground to a halt in the last week as staff were either taking 'go-slow' or full-blown strike action.
Meanwhile, teachers have gone on strike across all of Zimbabwe as the pro-government Zimbabwe Teachers Union (ZIMTA) joined the protests of the Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ). The strike by teachers has effectively paralysed operations in schools across the country. PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe said there was no going back on the strike unless the government capitulated to the union’s demand of a minimum of Z$1.7 billion salary for teachers, currently earning around Z$400 million.
Nurses and doctors have also joined the strike shutting down council hospitals and clinics across the whole country.