Update: The Frente de Unidad Docente, grouping the main teachers unions in the Buenos Aires Province, announced a 72 hour-long strike in protest against what they consider to be an insufficient salary increase offer from María Eugenia Vidal’s administration and the provincial government’s refusal to call them to the negotiating table today. As such, public school students in the Buenos Aires province will not resume classes after the winter recess concludes tomorrow.
Public school teachers unions in the Buenos Aires province warned today that if the María Eugenia Vidal administration doesn’t call their leaders to negotiate before the end of the day, they will not resume the school year this coming Monday, following the winter recess which officially comes to a close tomorrow.
The announcement comes on the heels of an unfruitful meeting between the two camps on Monday, where the union leaders rejected the Vidal administration’s offer of a 16.7 percent increase for the first seven months of the year, and the opportunity to go back to negotiating an extra increase for the second part of the year.
“The Vidal government’s eight proposal not only intends to camouflage the one she has already made seven times, but also intends to avoid abiding by the ruling set by the courts,” said the unions through a unified release, referencing a ruling from last week that obliged the provincial government to call the unions to negotiate after more than three months.
Unions, in contrast, demanded a 30 percent annual increase and the inclusion of a so-called “trigger clause,” which would honor its name if the year’s official inflation rate surpasses that sum. The provincial government has been unilaterally increasing teachers’ salaries throughout the first months of the year to prevent them from being further harmed by inflation, but based on the proposal the unions rejected.
Members of the Vidal administration anticipated that they will not call the unions to negotiate, because “right now there is not an offer that’s different from the one we extended on Monday.” “What we offered is what we can give, and there will not be another call [to negotiate] until late August,” a spokesperson for the Vidal administration said.
This would be the tenth strike conducted by teachers unions this year. So far, students have missed 12 school days for this reason; some strikes were two days long. Union leaders warned that next week’s could last either 24, 48, or even 72 hours.