Members of the Udmurtia Teachers Union, protested outside the state council meeting yesterday against plans to cut their salaries even further. At present teachers in the republic, which is part of the Russian Federation, earn only approximately $366 a month at the top of the scale.

In April, we reported that teachers in some regions of Russia were on strike because they had not been paid at all. Like their colleagues in many parts of the world, a lot of teachers in Russia, including those in Udmurtia, are on the minimum wage, and with sharp inflation they are finding it difficult to make ends meet.As a result it is difficult to attract young people into teaching. The problems are compounded by the continuing underfunding  of schools. Moreover - again like so many others - they are often treated with contempt. One official apparently told teachers in another region of Russia, after making severe cuts to their salaries, that the answer to their problems was to find a rich husband. 

As the economy in Russia declines, as usual it is ordinary people and public services who bear the brunt, with 40% of the population under the poverty line. However, there have been very low levels of militancy in the country over the last ten years, with the President, Vladimir Putin, managing to present a narrative of Russia being surrounded by enemies and passing the blame for the country's economic problems down to local governments.