The Fecode union representing Colombia’s public school teachers announced plans for a strike after failing to reach an agreement with the government on pay, healthcare and teacher evaluation.
The decision was taken because of the “stubborn refusal of the government of President Juan Manuel Santos to give a response that satisfies the demands and expectations of the teachers’ union,” Fecode said in a communique.
Santos is seeking reelection in the May 25 balloting.
Among the teachers’ three demands were a “review of the pitiful pay increase decreed by the government for 2014 and a plan for a pay raise so that in the next quarter our squalid salaries may reach a more suitable level.”
The educators also demanded the temporary suspension of teacher evaluation and “the activation of a mechanism for promotions while a new Teaching Statute is being agreed upon.”
Fecode said it is “open to dialogue and negotiation,” but that the reasons for the strike are just and that teachers will continue “to fight unless they receive a positive answer to their demands.”
The strike could affect almost 9 million students, according to Fecode president Luis Grubert.