Teachers will not return to classrooms in the pandemic without salary adjustment

A consultation carried out by the Venezuelan Unitary Federation of Teachers reveals that 89% of 13,000 teachers polled refuse to go back to schools as Coronavirus spikes here and without higher wages.

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By Genesis Carrero Soto.

Most Venezuelan public teachers are refusing to return to classrooms this September 16 without first receiving a salary adjustment. A consultation carried out by the Venezuelan Unitary Federation of Teachers is proof of this. The poll reveals that 89% of the teachers consulted throughout the country do not accept to start the new school year without a previous increase.

And teachers want the entry-level to be increased to $600 a month, which is about 200 times the minimum monthly Venezuelan wage of $3 a month. More than 51% of the workforce makes the minimum in Venezuela.

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In a poll taken by the teacher’s unions federation, with a sample of some 13,692 teachers interviewed, only 1,382 education professionals, equivalent to 11%, would return to the classrooms this September, if it is that the instruction of the Ministry of Education.

Gricelda Sanchez, the spokeswoman for the Venezuelan Teachers Union, states that the demand of the teachers to return to classes, either in person or online, is the payment of pending debts and the beginning of discussions for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the sector.

Also, the union requests the discussion of the new salaries advance based on $600 a month, adjusted to current prices and inflation levels in Venezuela.

“We want the HCM (hospitalization, surgery, and maternity insurance), the funereal insurance to be enabled, and the discussion table for the new Collective Agreement opened because this one is expired,” indicated Sanchez.

They refer that the authorities of the Ministry of Education and the Nicolás Maduro Administration have not offered any response to this requirement, even though it has been raising in different ways. In this regard, Sanchez insists that the silence of the authorities will result in the teachers not obeying the call for the start of classes, scheduled for this September 16.

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