Teachers in the Buenos Aires province of Argentina have been on strike for eight days now, in support of more money for education and a pay rise which is commensurate with inflation.

As a result the Buenos Aires government has threatened to designate teaching as an 'essential service' and thus outlaw striking. This is a device which is used in many countries to try to stop teachers from using their industrial power, most recently in South Africa. Buenos Aires teachers have ratified the continuation of the strike. At present their basic wage of $433 a month and the pay offer which has been made, would see them falling further into poverty.

While the necessity for teachers to receive a salary which enables them to keep pace with raging inflation is the prime cause of this week's strike, it is about more than that. Teachers in the province have been involved in a long running struggle for proper funding for education and against the pro-rich and pro-privatisation policies of the administration of Buenos Aire mayor, millionarie businessman Mauricio Macri.

Teachers are planning a massive mobilisation in the coming week and demand that the government enters into meaningful negotiations.