Following march in downtown BAThursday, March 27, 2014
Talks with the national-level unions to resume today
Labour negotiations with the five national-level teachers’ unions will resume today at the Labour Ministry in the aftermath of a large rally by CTERA teachers yesterday to demand “dignified salaries, in defence of the public education system and a return to the negotiation table.”
CTERA is the only one of the five national-level teachers’ that does not fall under the overall leadership of the CGT umbrella union leader Antonio Caló and instead is aligned with the CTA umbrella union led by Hugo Yasky.
“Our job is to teach and salaries are a pedagogical variable. It’s impossible to speak about quality education without talking about salaries,” CTERA Secretary-General Stella Maldonado said at yesterday’s march.
In that vein, she highlighted that “in no way are there dark factional or partisan interests in these struggles,” which she described as “genuine.” CTERA said that it expects today’s negotiations to lead to a “offer that is overwhelmingly better than the one we received last time... and if there is no solution the CTERA assembly will decide on the next steps.”
The union leader added that there are still 10 provinces that have yet to finalize salary negotiations, including in Buenos Aires province, which is home to about 38 percent of all teachers.
At yesterday’s march SUTEBA signs and unions members were featured prominently. SUTEBA Secretary-General Roberto Baradel participated in the march and is currently locked in arduous negotiations with Buenos Aires province. CTA leader Hugo Yasky also participated in the march, recalling his previous experiences as a teacher involved in the emblematic “white tent” protests of the late 1990s in favour of increased expenditure in education.
Yesterday’s march went from the intersection of Corrientes and Callao to the Ministry of Education, which left a trail of vehicular chaos in its wake.
Next round of national negotiations
Today’s discussions come after the expiration of the mandatory conciliation issued by the government before the beginning of classes and the unions expect new proposals after they rejected a 31 percent salary raise payable over four installments. CTERA, UDA, AMET, SADOP and CEA will participate along with Education and Labour Ministers Alberto Sileoni and Carlos Tomada
CTERA have insisted on a 35 percent wage increase and called for a refinancing of provincial funds by the national government so that it helps “those provinces that have yet to provide answers to teachers’ demands.”
Sergio Romero and Mario Almirón, leaders of the UDA and SADOP said that they will ask Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich for his response to their request to “remove absenteeism provisions from bonuses” and to include them as part of salaries so that the wage increases to come are felt more quickly.
—Herald with Télam, DyN