Thousands of teachers marching toward the main square of the Colombian capital of Bogota have immobilized parts of the city on Thursday, some of them occupying mass transit lanes, despite the presence of riot police.
According to reports from Bogota’s public transit system, at least seven routes have been disrupted in the nation’s capital on Thursday due to the national teacher’s strike, which continued into their second day amid attempted negotiations with the government.
— OFICIAL TRANSMILENIO (@TransMilenio) Mayo 15, 2014
An estimated 334,000 teachers are participating in the strike nationwide, which will cause class cancellations for some 8,700,000 students throughout the country, Caracol Radio reported Wednesday.
Luis Gruvert, president of Colombia’s Federation of Educators (FECODE) claims that he will meet with national federation delegates today to discuss points that were under dispute by teachers during recent negotiations with the government, according to reports by RCN Radio.
Gruvert was quoted as saying once they reach an unanimous decision on these points, FECODE will present a revised proposal to the Ministry of Education, and possibly end the indefinite strikes.
Behind the strike are a series of labor grievances that stretch back several years, including low wages, poor health care, and the teacher competency evaluation. Most prominently, the government owes public school teachers an estimated $40 billion in unpaid wages and benefits.