Congo teachers defy government sanction threats

BBC News Online, Monday 28 May 2001, 21:59 GMT 22:59 UK

Teachers in Congo Brazzaville have defied a government ruling making their week-old strike illegal.

The country's education authorities threatened severe sanctions against any teachers who refused to start work this week.

But, schools across the country have remained closed.

In response to the threat, the teachers' union Fenatrec is demanding the reinstatement of salaries, which were cut by 15%t, as well as 12 months of back pay.

Meanwhile, the government says it wants to hold global talks with all civil servants rather than separate negotiations with the teachers.

Other civil servants have had their pay cut by a quarter since 1995 as part of Congo's structural adjustment programme.