Tunisia reaches deal with union to raise wages of public employees

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Tunisia’s government reached 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 deal 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 union staged a one-day nationwide strike.

On Wednesday, Thousands of Tunisian teachers took to the capital’s streets to demand bonuses and improved working conditions months into a strike that has disrupted schools across the country.

The demonstrators gathered in the center of Tunis calling on Education Minister Hatem Ben Salem to step down, according to AFP.

Strikes since October have hit Tunisian schools hard, as many teachers have failed to conduct first term exams or give grades.

The strikes – which call for early retirement, bonuses and better conditions in schools – have continued despite calls by the UGTT to return to regular classes. Without exams, students fear they may have to repeat the school year. Students and parents have themselves protested in recent weeks.

(With Agencies)

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