Photo: La Izquierda Diario
In 2016, inflation reached 40 percent. Thus, teachers in the province of Buenos Aires were demanding a 35 percent salary increase. The government has refused to offer more than an 18 percent increase, bringing their salaries to 10,050 pesos ($645 USD per month). Meanwhile, it was recently announced that congressmen would be earning upwards of 150,000 pesos ($9,645 USD per month).
The government has escalated its threats to hire volunteers to fill teachers’ positions, as well as its refusal to pay teachers for days on strike. They’re even going as far as offering a prize or bonus to those who return to work.
It is believed that the government is taking a tough stance with teachers in order to set an example for future negotiations with other public sector workers. However, teachers and their supporters are also setting an example by showing the government that despite the threats, they will not back down.
The teachers are at the forefront of a growing struggle against austerity measures, layoffs and inflation. Teachers, along with other workers, are pushing their union officials to call for a national strike in order to channel their rage and stand strong against these attacks.