(Photo via: Télam)

Buenos Aires’ main teachers union, the UTE, has announced that it will strike on March 5 and 6, barely a week into the beginning of the 2018 school year, as per this report by La Nación. Protest activities have also been announced for tomorrow and Thursday, after the city’s mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta offered teachers a 12 percent salary increase with no trigger clause; this failed to meet the union’s demands of a 24 percent increase with a trigger clause.

The UTE made the decision at a plenary meeting last night.

If a 24 percent salary increase sounds high, it’s probably because you’re not considering Argentina’s inflation rates. UTE’s Secretary General Eduardo López told La Nación that their number was based on the IPC’s projection of 24 percent inflation for the country in 2018. If that figure does end up being the inflation rate, and teachers’ wages only go up by 12 percent, then their real wages will actually decrease.

The potential strike could be avoided, however, if tomorrow’s meeting between union leaders and the Ministry of Education goes well. Time is of the essence, because for some districts, classes are supposed to start this Thursday. Ademys, the other main teachers union in Buenos Aires, is considering postponing the first day of classes unless their demands are met.

Several other unions and political groups will march in solidarity with UTE, including CGT and CTA.