Teachers in the Balearic islands of Spain are continuing their long-running battle with the state government over education cuts and the imposition of English as a language of instruction along with Spanish. In the past the main language of instruction has been the local language Catalan but this is now being downgraded and given equal parity with English, which is seen as the 'passport to the future.'

Teachers in the islands battled for weeks in 2013 to reverse the cuts and the curriculum changes but the government has gone ahead and imposed them anyhow. The cuts meant that the islands were 1000 short of teachers in the last academic year, teachers were expected to work an extra two and a half hours a week, and their pay has been cut by 25%. But even more than the cuts the attack on the Catalan language and culture has angered the teachers in an area where virtually the whole population has Catalan as its first language.

The problem has been compounded by the arrogance of the Bauza government, which refuses to negotiate on the changes. The attitude of politicians supporting Bauza is clearly shown in the following statement made during last year's action by one of his MPs: “The positive side of this strike is that will know the name and surname of those who are concerned about the future of our children and those, on the other hand, who are playing with the students to achieve political goals.” Head teachers in particular have suffered victimisation as a result of taking a stand against the cuts and curriculum changes.

Despite facing such a viciously anti-union and anti-democratic government, the teachers are continuing to fight, they struck on Monday of this week and say there will be more strikes if the situation does not change. 

As can be seen by the iconic green T shirts in the picture above, the campaign in the Baleraics is part of the much wider campaign in Spain against education cuts and corporate reform. Particularly notable is the occupation by parents of a school in Madrid, which is now entering its 86th day, as they campaign against school closures.