Teachers in Tunisia are on a two day strike yesterday and today (12th and 13th May) as they pursue their struggle for pay justice and the improvement of education in the country. Today's action follows a general strike in April, with the government still failing to agree to the teachers' demands. Judges are also on strike in the country against the influence of the old regime, ousted by the revolution of 2012, on the administration of justice.

As well as pay increases, the primary teachers have a list of demands, including lowering the age for retirement for those with long service, parity with colleagues in junior secondary education and the regularisation of teachers on temporary contracts. As well as this, teachers want to engage in dialogue about improving education in the country. Among the secondary teachers' demands is a complete break from the curriculum under the dictatorship and the outlawing of physical attacks on schools and teachers.

Elections in Tunisia at the end of last year, brought in an administration with many elements of the old dictatorship under the ousted Ben Ali, including the leader of the party, who was a minister under Ali. The government is committed to 'trying to curb state spending and reduce fiscal deficit as required by international lenders'. This translates into increased inflation as subsidies are reduced as well as worsening conditions in public services including schools.  Many classes in the country are over 70 and the infrastucture is crumbling.

As well as fighting consistently for improvements in public education, the teachers were in the forefront of the movement which ousted Ali at the beginning of 2012. However despite that struggle, it seems that the forces of international capital, in the shape of the International Monetary Fund, are reasserting themselves and once again it is ordinary people who are suffering.

Leaders of the teachers' union, the UGTT, say they will be meeting to discuss more action if no agreement is forthcoming.