Monday, October 21, 2019
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ARGENTINA | 28-03-2019 05:21

BA province teachers and Vidal government lurch closer to wage deal

Wednesday's talks were the closest the government and unions have come to ending years of heated negotiations over wages.

The Buenos Aires provincial government on Wednesday moved one step close to sealing a wage deal with teachers unions in the province, after years of tense collective wage bargaining.

The provincial administration offered teachers quarterly wage increases in line with official inflation data from the INDEC statistic bureau plus a 15.6 percentage point bonus, which would be paid two instalments.

Despite already having confirmed a 48-hour strike in the event the deal was shot down, teachers confirmed Wednesday they would take the offer to their respective committees for consideration.

FEB union leader Mirta Petrocini celebrated that, with this offer, "the government wants to recovery" teachers' loss of spending power and confirmed "between Thursday and Friday it would be put to a consultation process and there a final decision would be made".

The meeting began at 9 am at the Economy Ministry in the provincial capital La Plata. In attendance were Economy Minister Hernán Lacunza; Labour Minister Gabriel Villegas, Education Minister Gabriel Sánchez Zinny; and leaders of the teachers' union front United Buenos Aires Teachers' Front (FUDB).

The deal is the closest the government and unions have come to ending years of heated negotiations over wages.

"The intention of the Vidal administration is to make as big an effort as possible, ensuring that no teacher's wage growth is below the rate of inflation", the government said in a statement.

"From its first day in office, this administration has put all its resources into achieving the best deal possible for teachers' unions", it added.

Teachers unions had previously agreed to a 48-hour strike if the deal failed to meet their demands, though this plan has been tentatively suspended.

The Vidal administration's last offer was on February 27, with inflation indexation plus a five percent increase in December.

Unions rejettes that deal on the grounds it did not reflect the true extent of the impact of inflation on teachers' spending power during 2018.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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