Belgian teachers joined thousands of other trade unionists yesterday in a national strike against proposed cuts in education and other public spending. A huge march took place through the centre of the capital, Brussels, as 100,000 trade unionists took to the streets. The three large trade union federations took part in the protest.

The government's plans include the raising of the pensionable age to 67 and an attack on teachers' salaries, in particular career progression which teachers say will have a devastating effect on public education. Moreover thousands of public sector jobs are to go.The banners on the march included slogans like 'No to crushing measures, united for a powerful teaching force!'

Union leaders pointed out that it was ordinary people who were being asked to pay for  the crisis while the rich were spared. One teachers' leader, Josiane van Acker that while education was going to be hit hard, 'We're not here just for ourselves, obviously. We have to show our solidarity with other workers. Because those 11 billion Euro cuts - those are 11 billion Euros which the workers are going to have to pay.'

Local teachers' strikes are also planned later this month as well as a general strike on December 15th. To read more on this strike go to the Education International .