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Sources: Tunisia Govt Reaches Deal with Union on Wage Raise

Sources: Tunisia Govt Reaches Deal with Union on Wage Raise

Thursday, 7 February, 2019 - 09:00
Tunisian teachers protest for better work conditions and higher wages,near the prime minister's office in Tunis, Tunisia February 6, 2019. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
Tunis- Asharq Al-Awsat

Tunisia's government has struck a deal with the powerful UGTT trade union confederation to raise wages of 670,000 public employees, three sources close to negotiations told Reuters on Thursday.

The agreement comes after months of tension between the government and the union. Last month rail, bus and air traffic was stopped in Tunisia and street protests drew thousands as the UGTT staged a one-day nationwide strike.

On Wednesday, thousands of Tunisian teachers rallied near the prime minister's office to demand better work conditions and higher wages.

Teachers have been boycotting exams for hundreds of thousands of students for nearly two months.

In Al Kasbah square in central Tunis, the teachers chanted: "We want our rights" and "This is a pen revolution.”

The teachers' union has asked for salary increases and a reduction in the retirement age, demands the government says are unfair and cannot be met.

Wednesday’s protest, organized during a school holiday, came just weeks ahead of a planned public sector strike called for by the UGTT on February 20 and 21.

It was not clear if the UGTT would go ahead with the strike after the reported deal struck with the government.

If held, it would be the third mass strike in a matter of months against the government and reforms dictated by the International Monetary Fund.

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