May 19, 2013
BA province teachers go on strike; 4 million students affected
Teachers in Buenos Aires province will hold a 24-hour strike in public and private schools, demanding the opening of bargain talks as the unions seek for a wage increase. The strike affects 4 million students, and unions already warned that the conflict could be extended.
The Union Front, led by Mirta Petrocini, said yesterday that today’s strike measure “would be widespread and serious because teachers no longer tolerate government dilatory tactics and urgently want their salaries to be increased.”
Likewise, Petrocini said, “The patience of teachers has once again reached its limit. We cannot tolerate the opportunities made available to us purely at the government’s whim, which ignore the needs that a teacher faces on a daily basis.”
Furthermore, the union leader said that “all these situations of discontent will lead to the total paralysis of schools, because the teachers believe that salary requests are fair and that unions have acted responsibly, but patience has run out.”
Last Friday, secretary-general of the SUTEBA Buenos Aires teachers union, Roberto Baradel, said: “The Buenos Aires provincial government pays salaries in black, with sums not included within the basic wages.”
“If we have not received an answer by, the conflict will be extended,” said Baradel, adding the union requests include calls for the elimination of “family allowance limits, because 50 percent of teachers with children who are under 18 do not receive a peso in terms of family salaries.”
The province’s education undersecretary Daniel Belinche said the strike was “extreme” and repeated “the impossibility” of reopening bargain discussions for the sector.
The strike was announced following a meeting with province officials belonging to the Education, Labour and Health areas last week.
The unions that will participate in today’s strike as part of the Union Front are the Federation of Buenos Aires Province Educators (FEB), SUTEBA, the Argentine Teachers Union (UDA), AMET and SADOP, along with Udocba teachers, who do not belong to the alliance and are connected to the CGT umbrella labour union.