Teachers, unions protest Argentina's education plan
Wed Oct 5, 2011 6:51AM
Constanza Heller, Press TV, Buenos Aires
A new project by the government of Buenos Aires has aroused controversy among teachers and unions in the capital of Argentina.
The city's Education minister, Esteban Bullrich, has promoted a bill that aims to modify Teachers Statute and to derogate the Classification and Disciplinary Boards through which they are appointed in their public positions.
To protest the government's plan, the Union of Education Workers called for a 24-hour strike and organized a massive rally outside the City hall.
The Union Secretary, Guillermo Parodi, stated that the administration of Mayor Mauricio Macri is trampling on teachers´ rights and undermining democracy.
The demonstration comes at a time when education policies are being questioned in other South American countries, especially in Chile where high-school and university students´ protests have countered the Chilean privatized education system during the past months.
Pablo Aschiero has been teaching for fifteen years and considers that Buenos Aires officials seek the privatization of public education.
Negotiations between public teachers and local authorities have reached an impasse again. Buenos Aires Education Minister said the teachers who have gone on a 24-hour strike will not get paid and described their action as completely unjustified.
The relationship between public teachers and the city's government turned difficult indeed when right-wing Mayor Mauricio Macri took office in 2007. Since that time unions have constantly criticized his conservative position and rejected his education policies.