December 20, 2014
Teachers strike again
Schools will be closed today in at least three districts
Teachers in Buenos Aires City and a group of provinces begin a 48-hour strike today, demanding to re-open collective wage negotiations after having reached an “insufficient” agreement a few months ago. The head of the FEB union Mirta Petrocini reminded government leaders that it was in their right to re-open negotiations again after signing an agreement last March due to a clause allowing for the “monitoring of inflation and revision increase due to the effects of inflation on salaries.”
Buenos Aires province government officials were not happy with the measure and claimed that there was no point in staging new strikes. “The increase given last March was higher than 30 percent and has not been surpassed by inflation estimates by the INDEC statistics bureau nor private consultancies,” said BA province government Cabinet Chief Alberto Pérez.
The official warned that the wage hike demands could affect employment in the sector. “Argentina needs to take care of its jobs — government and workers need to work together,” Pérez claimed.
The people who would end up being most hurt by these measures in the short term would be children who attend public schools in several of the country’s provinces and their families that will have to modify their daily routines because of it, Pérez added. The strike takes place on the day students are scheduled to return to classes after the end of winter holidays.
In this context, Petrocini called on the provincial government to hold a meeting before the conflict deepens.
According to the union leader, teachers also have a “list of points that have to do with infrastructure, education jobs, real estate financing and school cafeteria food.”
If the government doesn’t make any progress with their demands, another assembly would be held to decide on whether to continue the protests, the FEB leader explained.
Scioli’s administration has been reported to be holding informal talks with the union front in order to avoid reinitiating the conflict, but the conversations were interrupted during the weekend.
Meanwhile, teachers are also striking in BA City and Chaco province.