New Zealand, UK teachers stage strike

Teachers in New Zealand and the United Kingdom have gone on strike to demand pay increase to cope with the high cost of living caused by inflation.

Around 50,000 teachers in New Zealand went on strike on Thursday, after union talks with the Ministry of Education aimed at improving salaries and conditions stalled, Agence France-Presse reported.

The strike forced kindergartens as well as primary and secondary schools to close across the country.

Trade unions argued that the government’s latest pay offer did not match inflation and that the education sector is at a “crisis point” due to teacher shortages.

Education Minister Jan Tinetti said she was disappointed to see teachers strike and wanted the dispute resolved quickly.

In Britain, teachers joined train drivers and civil servants in a mass walkout on Wednesday to express their rejection to the government’s proposed 2 percent pay rise.

Striking teachers were expected to affect every publicly-funded school in England.

National Education Union leaders Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney earlier threatened to step up their action if the government failed to put “money on the table,” according to AFP.

An estimated 130,000 members of the PCS civil servants’ union also walked out from government departments and agencies and chanted their demand for a 10 percent salary increase.


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