Latvia's teachers deliver strike ultimatum to government

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The Latvian Education and Science Workers' Union (LIZDA) has decided to give the government a month to meet the promises previously made on teachers' salaries. Otherwise, it would launch a nationwide teachers' strike in April, LIZDA said February 15.

The LIZDA Council decided to give the government time until March 15 “to introduce amendments meeting requirements into various regulatory acts,” the trade union said in a statement.

“If this is not done within a month, an ambitious protest march on April 24 will launch a strike of all Latvian education workers,” the statement says.

In this year's budget, which has been submitted by the government to the Saeima, teacher salaries are clearly marked but depend on the "optimization of the school network".

The Minister for Education and Science, Anda Čakša (New Unity), has previously indicated that there is enough money to raise wages this year, so there is no justification for holding a strike.

The union's board considers that the government has not played its part in the strike agreement reached last autumn.

“The union will also not agree with this counter-determination that wage increases can only be achieved by optimizing the network of schools, because this is very unpredictable and cannot be influenced by the teacher,” Inga Vanaga, LIZDA President, said earlier.

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