October 22nd, 2012 (InsideCostaRica.com) – Various unions for educators, among them the Association of High School Teachers (APSE, in Spanish), and the Union for Costa Rican Education Workers (SEC), have summoned teachers to a strike this coming Tuesday, because they say they feel “stalked.”
The teachers have decided to paralyze schools on Tuesday, due to the recent announcement from the Ministry of Education, in which the institution has decided to deduct from teachers’ salaries paid days off which some teachers took in August, supposedly to attend a conference, but later could not provide sufficient evidence of actually having attended.
“Our slogan will be ‘No more harassment, persecution and stalking from the government towards the teachers and public workers in general,” said Beatriz Ferreto, president of APSE.
Some 3,000 teachers attended the 3-day conference from August 8th to the 10th rather than teach class those days, with the permission of their schools. However, the Ministry of Education received some 17,000 scanned and photocopied attendance certificates from teachers who had taken paid leave those days, supposedly to attend the conference. As there were only 3,000 teachers physically in attendance, it would seem some 14,000 teachers used the conference as an excuse to attempt to play ‘hooky’ from school. Inside Costa Rica reported on the incident early this month.
The strike is also in protest against a possible salary decrease to the public sector.
“We will not allow a single cent of our salaries to be touched, “ said Ferreto.
The strike will occur in various parts of the country, as well as in the Metropolitan Area, and a march will be held in front of the Presidential House at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday.