Costa Rica’s public school teachers completed Monday their third week on strike over delays in payment that have continued for the last three months.
The government said that this Monday night it will make a massive payment of wages owed to more than 13,000 educators, but for that they must return to the classrooms.
The unions, however, have said they will have to see that the corresponding deposits are really made, and if not, they will continue the strike that began last May 5.
“We’re waiting until 10:00 p.m. to see who and what percentage of teachers receive payment in full. If it is received, we can sit down to talk with the government about the next step,” the leader of the ANDE union, Gilberto Cascante, told Efe.
He said they will deliver a document to Education Minister Sonia Marta Mora with a series of conditions for ending the walkout.
Notable among the demands is an adjustment of the school calendar, an agreement on how to make up the time missed and a government pledge not to retaliate against the strikers.
Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis, a former university professor who took office May 8, appealed last week to the teachers’ “sense of responsibility and vocation for service” in an effort to convince them to return to the classrooms.
Solis has found that this burden on the administration of predecessor Laura Chinchilla was caused by problems in the transition to a new, more modern payroll system.