BUENOS AIRES – Teachers in Buenos Aires province demanding better working conditions went on a strike Tuesday that will affect 3 million students and will distance the educators even more from the government of Argentina’s most populous region.
Suteba, the main provincial teachers union, backs the strike called “in defense of wages and the labor force” and “against austerity laws.”
The strike has the added support of school janitors, cooks and caretakers grouped in the ATE union, the state news agency Telam said, and has interrupted classes at all educational levels in the province.
The strike has sparked harsh criticism from the Buenos Aires provincial government headed by Gov. Maria Eugenia Vidal, who calls it unjustified.
“The teachers’ strike has a political logic: there’s no reason for (Suteba chief) Roberto Baradel to get mixed up in a discussion with parents and children,” provincial Labor Minister Marcelo Villegas told Todo Noticias television.
For her part, Vidal warned Friday night in a televised interview that days when teachers are absent from work will be docked from their salaries.
Teachers across Argentina staged a strike at the beginning of April demanding better pay and improved working conditions.
A 72-hour strike by employees of public hospitals in Buenos Aires province is scheduled to begin Thursday.