Latvia's teachers begin three-day strike

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Having reached no agreement with the government on systematically raising teachers' salaries and balancing their loads, the Latvian Education and Science Workers' Trade Union (LIZDA) starts a three-day strike on Monday, April 24, with more than 19,000 teachers participating, and goes on a protest march in Rīga from the trade union building to the Saeima.

Medical workers are also planning to take part in the march, and more than 8,000 participants might join in altogether. According to estimates of the Latvian Health and Social Care Workers union, more than 1,000 health workers could join the teacher protest.

The protest march started at 11:00 at the trade union building on Bruņinieku Street and moved the route Tērbatas Street – Elizabetes Street – Brīvības Street (along the Cabinet) – Vaļņu Street (along the Ministry of Education and Science) – Torņu Street – Jēkaba Street (along the Saeima) – to Doma Square.

When the parade reached the Cabinet building, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš joined the protesters and spoke to them, saying that the government had been gradually raising wages for the past four years and was planning to continue to do so. 

When the march reached its final destination, the protesters released a bunch of air bubbles in the air, comparing them to "politicians' promises".

 

On Monday morning, LIZDA's head Inga Vanaga told Latvian Television that all the strike requirements were still not met, because there are several groups of educators for which the government-approved rules do not foresee wage increases, for example, support staff, psychologists, and speech therapists.

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