Teachers in Serbia are continuing their campaign against a 10% cut to their pay, which at present averages $416 a month - one of the lowest salaries for teachers in Europe. The 10% cut is being inflicted on all public services and as a result doctors and other health workers have also been taking action this month.

The 10% cut is part of the Serbian government's attempt to appease the International Monetary Fund so that it can receive new loans and join the already crisis-ridden European Union. Despite admitting that teachers were bearing a large part of the burden of austerity cuts and acknowledging the need to give them pay which is compatible with their education and responsibilities, education minister Srdjan Verbic told teachers that their protests were 'pointless, as the salary reduction in the education sector is inevitable.' 

Teachers' right to strike is curtailed in Serbia but nonetheless last Monday they cut class lengths from 45 to 30 minutes and their leaders say that this will continue and may escalate into the cancellation of all classes unless the government accepts their demands. All four unions are taking part in the action and a spokesperson for them said: 'we expect the government to be like Robin Hood and take from those who have much, not those who have nothing'.