August 21, 2014
Uncertainty as SUTEBAand feb had previously warned that classes were unlikely to begin on tuesdaySunday, March 23, 2014
Ombudsman injunction accepted; BA court orders strike lifted
An injunction filed on Friday by the Buenos Aires province Ombudsman seeking the suspension of strike action by provincial teachers, was accepted last night by the Administrative Court in La Plata, which ordered the unions to lift the strike and in turn the provincial government to continue salary negotiations. The ruling would thus theoretically rollback the 30.9 percent raise by decree that Governor Daniel Scioli signed this week that “ended negotiations.”
Before the injuction had been formally accepted, SUTEBA secretary-general Roberto Baradel yesterday remained defiant and advised that he was confident classes would not begin on Tuesday as hoped by the Daniel Scioli administration.
Furthermore, Baradel in conversation with Radio Mitre said that the union is waiting for another meeting with the provincial government to continue negotiations that include “a winning offer.” He also launched strong accusations against the governor, saying that “he is being so tough on workers and teachers but he didn’t seem upset when the landowners’ associations stood up to him and said ‘no’ to the rural tax.”
Mirta Petrocini, president of the FEB teachers’ union, also ratified after a union meeting that “the representatives of the entire province expressed that teachers are convinced about going ahead with their demands despite the warnings, threats and intimidation.”
Injunction to play a role
The unions’ vows to maintain ongoing labour action were in direct contrast to comments made after the injuction was accepted by Ombudsman Carlos Bonicatto, who said last night that the injunction “could be appealed but that it would remain in effect.”
The injunction had requested, among other measures, that the “unions to adjust their right to strike in order to not restrict the right to education.”
The ombudsman, who previously told the press that the right to education had greater importance than the teachers’ right to strike, justified his stance by pointing to the disproportionate impact that the strike has had on families who send their children to public schools instead of the private system.
At press time, Bonicatto told media outlet TN that classes should begin as per normal, as the injunction restored matters “to the way collective bargaining negotiations should normally function, that is, with teachers in the schools and representatives meeting at the negotiation table.”
At press time, a response from the unions was still pending but should they decide to comply with the order, classes would resume on Tuesday, March 25.
Provincial officials had threatened an emergency back-to-work law should unions refuse to acknowledge the ruling.
Herald with DyN, Télam