Teachers across Argentina will walk off the job today in what will be teachers unions’ fifth national strike so far this year.
In ongoing collective wage bargaining talks with their respective provincial governments, teachers are demanding wage increases above the 15-percent ceiling urged by the Mauricio Macri government late last year.
That figure was the Macri government’s annual inflation target, which quickly flew out the window amid what the government described as economic “turbulence”. Private estimates put 2018 inflation well above 25 percent.
Teachers also say that they are striking “to decry the repression” teachers in Chubut province have experienced at the hands of the police forces.
“Repression is our limit. If they touch one of us, they touch all of us”, CTERA secretary general Sonia Alesso told reporters, recalling the violent incidents in Chubut this week where police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesting teachers.
Chubut Governor Mariano Arcioni signed a decree Monday allowing a 1,200-peso increase to the base wage for teachers in that province. The decision was quickly rejected by teachers.
“We reject the decree, it is unconstitutional and must be ratified by law if they want to set wage increases”, Chubut’s ATECh union secretary general Santiago Goodman said.