May 25, 2013
Buenos Aires province teachers threaten more strike action
The dispute between BA province teachers and the administration of Daniel Scioli seems far from de-escalation. SUTEBA Leader Roberto Baradel has announced that a new walkout could be expected next week if the provincial government doest not improve the salary offer.
“This Friday force measures will be decided if we are not called for a new proposal”, the head of the Buenos Aires Education Workers Union (SUTEBA in Spanish) affirmed and warned that the conflict “will deepen” if the province “decrees the salary hike”.
“The conflict can not be resolved through authoritarianism or lies. We wand a decent increase that outpaces the cost of living”, Baradel told C5N news channel reporter.
After sixth failed round of collective wage bargaining meetings, unionized teachers launched this week a new 48-hour walkout leaving 4.5 million students without classes.
The move was decided following Wednesday’s negotiations when SUTEBA rejected the 18.6 per cent salary hike offered by Scioli’s government
Meanwhile, Buenos Aires provincial Cabinet Chief Alberto Pérez said that “the right to have classes is above the right of protesting or calling for strike and defended the salary offer made yesterday by the provincial government to teachers unions and noted that there are two competing rights: “The right to claim and the pupils’ right to have classes. And for us, the kids’ right is far superior.”
The wage hike offer was raised 0.8 percent from 17.8 to 18.6 percent, thus still falling short of the unilateral 22 percent suggested by the national government, leading unions to announce the third strong-armed measure in what has been a brief academic year.