Teachers' Union In Chile Announces Indefinite Strike After Rejecting Government Proposal

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The Chilean College of Teachers announced this Friday an indefinite national strike starting next Tuesday .

Chilean teachers announcing the national strike

Photo: colegiodeprofesores.cl


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Leer en español: Gremio de profesores en Chile anuncia paro indefinido tras rechazar propuesta del Gobierno

This is a measure of pressure that the union defined after rejecting the Executive's proposal in the framework of an eight-point petition delivered last month to the authorities.

This is the first mobilization that the recently assumed Minister of Education, Nicolás Cataldo, will have to face.

"He is giving us an answer little by little," said the union's president, Carlos Díaz, about the latest proposal delivered to the leaders of the College of Teachers.

“We find 46.34% who accept the last proposal delivered by the Ministry of Education and 53.66% who do not accept the proposal. They have not understood the sense of urgency”, he stressed.

For his part, Cataldo affirmed that the mobilization announcement "is something that worries given the context of educational reactivation, where the recovery of learning is essential."

"We cannot continue wasting time on this, in addition, we are joined by two climatic fronts that have caused us to lose classes in the country in some regions. Therefore, as the Ministry of Education we are deeply concerned that this situation does not spread," he added. 

What does the educational union claim in Chile?

Among the demands they claim are changes in the school day, a bonus for retired teachers, measures to mitigate both violence in schools and work stress and payment of the so-called "historical debt."

The so-called "historical debt" dates back to events that occurred during the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990), when the administration of public education was transferred from the central level to the country's municipalities. This change implied that the teaching staff was subject to the Labor Code and would be governed by the regulations applicable to the private sector.

The authorities of that country created a special non-taxable allowance for teaching personnel under the Ministry of Public Education, effective January 1, 1981. However, teachers who were transferred from the central State to the municipalities did not receive this allowance, thus giving rise to the so-called "historical debt" of the Magisterium.

It is not the first mobilization in the educational area faced by the Administration of Gabriel Boric. During his first months of government, thousands of high school students organized a mobilization, mainly in the capital, to demand improvements in school infrastructure and protocols against sexist violence.