November 21, 2014
BA teachers renew 35 % hike demand ahead of new wage talks
The head of the SUTEBA union Roberto Baradel has confirmed teachers will attend today’s new round of talks with Buenos Aires province authorities but warned their strike action – affecting more than four million students -, will continue if the government’s wage offer does not meet their demand for a 35-percent-hike.
Marking the fifth day of a walkout that halted the beginning of classes in Argentina’s most populated province, unions will be meeting with the Daniel Scioli administration today at 5 pm in the City of La Plata to renew salary negotiations.
“We have expectations for an offer that resolves the conflict,” Baradel told reporters this morning but pointed up the provincial government must show “creativity and political will” to give teachers a “decent salary rise.”
“I think the government is in automatic pilot and does not understand the seriousness of the conflict. This is no usual negotiation. We are in trouble if the cabinet chief (Alberto Pérez) and the government do not understand it,” the SUTEBA head added prior to a press conference he held earlier this morning along with other union leaders.
In the briefing to the press, Baradel indeed responded to the government’s criticism of the walkout that has left more than four million students without classes in the district commanded by Governor Daniel Scioli. The union leader said the government called teachers for talks only a week ahead of the beginning of classes.
“Either they are fostering the conflict or they don’t have an idea of what (the conflict) means. We would be negotiating till 2016 if we did not strike,” he insisted.