Five Argentinian teachers unions called their members out on strike yesterday and today, including the largest CTERA, which represents over a third of the almost million strong teaching force in the country.

The Kirchner administration in Argentina is facing a major economic crisis with rampant inflation and pressure from the International Monetary Fund to introduce structural reforms. The government is relying on the unions to accept lower wage increases to help them out of the crisis. However, the floor wage for teachers in the country is only $433 a month and with the government offering a 31% wage increase phased over eighteen months, teachers' salaries will be falling further and further behind prices. 

Teachers in Argentina, particularly in the capital Buenos Aires have been engaged in a long struggle, alongside students and communities, for more funding for education. The capital is run by millionaire businessman Mauricio Macri, who has introduced brutal policies in favour of the richest in the town and used security forces to brutally put down resistance. In particular he has boosted the private education system and deliberately run down public schools.

Salaries in Argentina are negotiated on a province wide basis. Teachers in Buenos Aires province are threatening an indefinite strike.