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High school teachers to strike Tuesday

October 22, 2012

High school teachers from the provinces of San José, Alajuela, Cartago and Heredia are planning a demonstration Tuesday in front of San José’s Casa Presidencial to oppose a draft bill filed by the government that seeks to cut salary bonuses for teachers.

Members of the High School Teachers Association and the Costa Rican Education Union (SEC) scheduled the protest for 10 a.m. Tuesday, when members of the executive branch hold their weekly Cabinet meeting.

The draft bill seeks to eliminate extra salary incentives that are exclusive to educators, including higher severance pay than most public workers, annuities, extra pay for work outside of the classroom (grading homework at home, for example), and “exclusivity” pay, which is a salary bonus so that teachers don’t take a second job.

Members from other unions, including the General Confederation of Workers and Teachers in Action, will join the protest.

SEC President Gilberth Diaz called on teachers in the rest of the country to organize local protests in their communities.

Education Minister Leonardo Garnier said the demonstration is unwarranted, as the bill is in a draft stage, and several different sectors, including teachers, will be consulted before a final version is sent to the Legislative Assembly.

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