Teachers and science workers in the Eastern European state of Latvia have once again been on the streets protesting for more pay. Latvian teachers have the lowest pay in Europe. They are demanding that their salaries at least be raised to the level of their colleagues in the neighbouring state of Estonia. At present they earn as little as $540 a month, while over the border the salary is $1,100.

The teachers were protesting on the same issue at the end of last year and it seems as though no progress has been made. Latvia has been hailed as a success story by the International Monetary Fund after it privatised most of its industries in the 90s, vastly enriching a few, and then administered harsh 'austerity' measures after the 2008 crisis with a resultant rise in unemployment to 15% and high inflation.

There is considerable support from the general public for the teachers' case according to polls, which show 71% of economically active Latvians on their side. The teachers are being supported by Education International (EI). Martin Rohmer, head of the European section of EI who spoke at the rally said: "Educators should be provided with salaries and working conditions which encourage them to stay in their jobs and allow them to focus totally on their teaching activities and not have to worry about the cost of living or their working conditions.”