Puerto Rico Teachers in 2008
Puerto Rican teachers went on strike las week against budget cuts and privatisation in the country's schools.
The teachers - who are members of the Puerto Rican Teachers' fedetarion went on 24 hour strike last Thursday and demonstrated on the streets of the country's capital San Juan. Leaders of the union say that the government has failed to fill 1000 teaching posts which is leading to oversized classes, a shrinking of the curriculum and a severe lack of specialised teachers. In particular children with special needs are affected with 45,000 having no specialised teacher. Teachers are also protesting against the lack of teaching materials and the poor state of buildings.
The President of the union Rafael Feliciano told the Latin American Herald Tribune:
"that the government intends to partially privatize the system via Law 7, a measure conceived to reduce the U.S. commonwealth’s serious budget deficit and which already has led to the dismissal of thousands of public employees."
The aim of sacking staff is to facilitate the handing over of the state education system to private companies. The government is also privatising the teacher's pension system. The union is warning that if the government does not meet its demands there will be an indefinite strike in October.
Teachers in Puerto Rico engaged in a long struggle in 2008 (see preious posts)