Lithuanian Teachers Demand 50% Pay Increase
Lithuanian teachers campaigning for higher salaries last autumn. Thousands of teachers went on indefinite strike in Lithuania last week to demand a 50% pay increase. The teachers - members of the Lithuanian Education Employees Trade Union - at present receive 640 Euros a month while general inflation is running at 11.8% and food prices are rising by 17.2%; this despite the fact that Lithuania had the strongest growth of any of the EU accession countries. At one school in Lithuania's poorest city, teachers went into class with their hands tied to show the students how impossible they were finding it to make ends meet. Thousands of teachers travelled across the country to a rally last Friday in Kaunas - Lithuania's second largest city. One teacher told the audience that teachers were being humiliated and paid less than pizza bakers. The leader of the union, Aleksas Bruzas said that the union would not back down until the government took their problems seriously.