Photo: Argentine teachers calling off strike (SUTEBA)
Teachers’ unions in Buenos Aires province, Argentina’s most populous region, accepted Saturday a new pay offer by the provincial government and will return to the classrooms after 17 days on strike.
The pay offer, an average 32.5 percent increase for most teachers, was accepted Saturday in a plenary session of the unions taking part in the complex negotiations with the Buenos Aires government.
The plenary session resolved to drop the pressure tactics that have gone on for four weeks and kept 3.5 million students from beginning their school year.
“Ninety-two percent approved the offer,” the head of the SUTEBA education union, Roberto Baradel, told a press conference.
Two weeks ago when negotiations failed, the provincial government took a unilateral decision to raise teachers’ salaries by 30.9 percent instead of the 35 percent demanded by the unions.
That pay raise was rejected by the unions, which continued the walkout.
This week a judge ordered teachers to end the strike and the provincial government to continue negotiating.
On Friday, the unions and provincial officials went back to the negotiating table and there the Buenos Aires government made its latest offer.
The 17 days on strike since the beginning of the school year were more than the number of days on strike during all of 2013, the most in 10 years.