algblog2.jpg  Teachers demonstrating in Algeria Teachers in all sectors in Algeria are on strike in pursuit of salary increases Teachers are being called out on strike from Sunday November 8th and they will be joined by health workers in December. Public service salaries are lower than those in the neighbouring countries of Morocco and Tunisia despite the fact that Algeria is the richest country because of vast mineral reserves. It is the fourth largest exporter of natural gas for example. Yet teachers have to work 15 years before they can earn 300 euros a month. In contrast members of parliament have just tripled their salaries to 3,000 euros a month - causing outrage in the country. Meanwhile 23% of Algerians live below the poverty line. Many schools  have been locked since Sunday as the teachers came out on strike. However the thousands of 'contract' or temporary teachers  are still reporting for work since they are not allowed to strike. The increasing numbers of these poorly paid temporary teachers have already caused considerable unrest with some of them going on hunger strike last year to demand proper contracts. (See previous post) As in many other countries it seems that their potential wealth  is used to benefit a few wealthy people instead of the majority and that education - the people who work in it and the children who need it - are left at the back of the queue.