The main teachers unions in the Buenos Aires Province, grouped under the umbrella Frente de Unidad Docente, announced a strike for after the Easter holidays that will take place next week. The decision comes after a fifth unfruitful meeting with provincial authorities on Wednesday night.
In this last meeting, representatives of the María Eugenia Vidal administration again offered a yearly salary increase of 15 percent, to be paid in three installments, and bi-monthly bonuses for teachers who don’t miss class: this would amount to AR $6,000 for those who have perfect attendance in 2018, AR $4,500 for four absences or less, and AR $3,000 for those who have between five and eight. This time, they also included a AR $ 3,000 bonus to be paid once.
As mentioned, the teachers unions rejected the offer and announced different measures of force that will be implemented to get the provincial government to not only offer them a higher salary increase, but to destine a larger portion of the budget to education as well.
“To move towards having quality public education, these problems [the ones that exceed their salaries] have to be treated during the collective bargaining season too, and in order for them to be met, financing and public policies are needed,” said the Adjunct Secretary General of Suteba – the largest teachers union in the province – Silvia Almazán.
In regards to their salaries, teachers ask the incorporation of the so-called “trigger clause,” which would honor its name if the annual inflation rate surpasses the agreed increase, ensuring that their wages’ purchasing power does not decrease.
The first measure of force since the meeting was a march from Congress to the “Casa de la Provincia de Buenos Aires,” located in Callao Avenue. Moreover, the teachers announced they will also join a march called by the province’s state workers for next Tuesday; and will likely strike, according to Suteba Secretary General Roberto Baradel, “on the first week of April.”