Teachers in Lithuania went on indefinite strike this week in pursuit of their demands for decent pay and improved conditions. As well as seeking increases in their salaries on which teachers find it difficult to survive, they are also demanding that pre-school teachers should receive the same salary as other teachers, and increases in spending on schools, as well as smaller class sizes.

Worryingly for the teachers, Lithuania is firmly in the hands of the International Monetary Fund, which is telling the country to keep going with 'efficiency in public spending'; and that 'new demands on public finances, including for . . . compensation payments for crisis-induced pension and wage cuts' will only 'complicate' the task of bringing down the deficit. In other words as always, the priority is keeping international creditors happy while attacking public services and the low paid. Moreover the IMF calls for speeded up privatisation in the energy sector and says that the labour market would benefit from 'education reform.' 

The leader of the teachers union said,' We would like for the indefinite strike to be brief, but it could continue from one to several weeks.'