SANTIAGO – Forty days into a strike over legislation that would change their employment conditions, leaders of the union representing Chile’s teachers decided Friday to continue the work stoppage.
The decision came 48 hours after Chilean President Michelle Bachelet urged the teachers in an open letter to join her administration in “making history.”
But after considering the latest set of proposals from the Education Ministry, the teachers concluded they were “unsatisfactory,” union official Mario Aguilar told reporters.
Even so, the union vowed to make “every effort” to maintain the dialogue with the Education Ministry.
The union’s main objection to the education bill centers on a proposal to test teachers on their knowledge of specific academic subjects, a provision critics say will become a tool to stigmatize teachers.
Union members are also unhappy about the expected involvement of for-profit firms in the evaluation process.
The union board said Friday that it will hold a national assembly of members on July 24.
The strike has effectively shut down 2,500 public schools nationwide.