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Public school teachers to strike on Monday over salary delays

May 4, 2014

Some 7,000 elementary and high school teachers have not been paid since April 1 due to an administrative problem at the Education Ministry. That prompted leaders of teachers’ unions from  public schools on Friday to call for a general strike starting on Monday. 

Union leaders said on their websites and social media that “we’ve had enough of the lack of action” by Education Ministry (MEP) officials. They said some educators have not been paid since February.

Also on Friday, unions denounced that MEP’s human resources officials told hundreds of teachers they would have to wait until May 15 to receive their salaries.

The call for a strike was sent Friday evening by leaders of the National Association of Educators (ANDE), the Costa Rican Education Union (SEC) and the High School Teachers’ Association (APSE), following a meeting with Education Minister Leonardo Garnier that ended in a stalemate.

According to MEP, the problem was caused by a change in the electronic payment system, which caused a delay in the entry of data for each educator. Those whose personal data have not yet been entered into the system did not get paid.

Teachers mostly from schools in the capital demonstrated twice this week and marched along Paseo Colón, west of San José, demanding MEP resolve their situation. They also joined a May Day march on the capital’s Second Avenue on Thursday.

In a public statement APSE leaders said the strike would continue indefinitely until educators received their salaries.

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