LIMA – Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski met on Thursday with leaders of an ongoing teacher’s strike and agreed to increase their salaries to 2,000 soles ($615) from the current 1,500 soles.
Kuczynski agreed to talk to representatives of the Single Union of Workers in Education (SUTER) and the National Executive Committee of the Education Workers of Peru (SUTEP), so they would call off the indefinite strike ongoing for the last six weeks.
“What I can tell you is that I value it very much that you are here and that we are talking, because without teachers there is no education,” said Kuczynski at the beginning of the meeting with leaders from Cuzco, Arequipa, Pasco, Lima, Lambayeque and Tumbes regions.
He recalled that one of his campaign promises was to raise the salaries of teachers in the first year of government and that he will now fulfill that promise, albeit a few months late.
“You can count on me, I’m going to support this sector, because without education there is nothing,” added Kuczynski.
The meeting was delayed by at least two hours due to disputes between the different unions of teachers fighting for legitimacy and due to alleged links of some sectors with the political wing of the Shining Path armed group.
At the end of the meeting, the President of the Council of Ministers of Peru, Fernando Zavala, said the government had also signed on Wednesday an agreement in which the leaders of four other regions had agreed to call off the strike.
While Kuczynski met with the union leaders, another group of teachers who do not belong to the Unions whose representatives met the president had continued with the strike in Plaza San Martin.