December 18, 2014
BA province teachers threaten to strike 'indefinitely'
Buenos Aires province unionized teachers have vowed to strike “indefinitely’ if the Daniel Scioli administration does not improve the 25.5-percent salary hike offer.
The head of the FEB education union of the province of Buenos Aires Mirta Petrocini confirmed teachers will not give classes on Monday 10, waiting for a new salary offer that "comes closer" to the 35-percent wage rise teachers demand.
The beginning of the school year was scheduled for Wednesday 5. Failure in salary negotiations and a 72-hour walkout, however, left thousands of students without classes, deepening the salary conflict.
Meanwhile, the provincial Labour Minister Oscar Cuartango affirmed the government is working to improve the salary offer but considered the “indefinite strike” threat “excessive.” Cuatango confirmed unions will be called back to the negotiating table to try to settle the wage dispute and urged teachers to recognize the “efforts” the government is making to maintain the initial offer of 25 percent which already demands a “10,000 million-peso investment” annually.
“I am optimistic, I am absolutely convinced (we will work it out). We have made an economically sustainable offer that involves an investment of 10,000 million pesos,” the minister told reporters today and added an eventual “indefinite” walkout as union leaders have threatened with is “excessive.” “Anyway, we don’t condition teachers,” he stated.
At a national level, the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration is also struggling with education unions to set the initial salary, with the federal Labour Ministry issuing a mandatory conciliation earlier in the week.