Refugee School in Sri Lanka Teachers in Sri Lanka are to take strike action in support of their long standing pay demand The teachers - who are members of nine different unions - are to take joint strike action in support of demands for salary increases which have been ongoing for 14 years. A primary school teacher earns approximately $195 a month - a sum which an independent commission in 1997 ruled was too low and a further supreme court ruling instructed the government to pay an increase in 2009. Although money was allocated in the budget this still has not happened. Not only that but there have been no promotions since 2008. To make matters worse, inflation in Sri Lanka is running at an all time high. The International Monetary Fund has praised the 'austerity' measures that the Sri Lankan government is making - such as increasing fuel prices and cutting public services -  and its pro-business stance which means profits in the country are soaring at a time when ordinary people are facing increasing poverty. Earlier this year striking teachers were beaten up by government thugs and last year a leader of the Ceylon Teachers Service Union was killed (see previous posts). Teachers in Sri Lanka - like many other teachers in the Global South are working often in impossible conditions - inadequate buildings and oversized classes - to try and bring education to all children in the country. And they are expected to do so on a wage which is barely sufficient to live on. Clearly a decision to take strike action against a background of state violence is not taken lightly and is a measure of the teachers' determination to fight for the education service in Sri Lanka.