Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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ARGENTINA | 01-04-2019 17:12

Vidal gov't, teachers union break ground with imminent wage deal

If successful, the deal will put to rest over 18 months of tension between the Vidal administration and unions representing teachers in the country's largest province.

All but one union in the Buenos Aires Educators Federation agreed Monday to a wage offer by the Buenos Aires provincial government of Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal.

If successful, the deal will put to rest over 18 months of tension between the Vidal administration and unions representing teachers in the country's largest province.

The unions FEB, SADOP, AMET, UDA and UPCN took the deal to their committees late last week, announcing Monday they would seek to accept the Vidal government offer to increase wages in line with official inflation data from the INDEC statistic bureau plus a 15.6 percentage point bonus, which would be paid two instalments (5 percent in April and 10.6 percent in August). 

The only union which did not accept the deal was UDOCBA, which in a statement described the offer as "meagre".

"The committees in Buenos Aires province have, with a large majority, rejected the (Vidal) government's proposal. Today, we will have a summit of General Secretaries" to discuss the matter", said Miguel Díaz, head to UDOCBA.

"We ask the government for a new proposal. If it does offer one before Wednesday, we have the consensus within UDOCBA to reinstate strike action and that is what we will be defending", he said.

ALMOST OVER THE LINE

The deal is the closest the Vidal government and unions have come to ending years of tensions 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 late last week.

"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 was tentatively suspended.

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

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

Inflation in Argentina reacher 47.4 percent in 2018.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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