Ei-iE

Argentina: threats to union leader overshadow new school year

published 2 March 2017 updated 30 March 2017

With continuing threats targeting Roberto Baradel, leader of the Buenos Aires education union, and collective bargaining stalling across the country, Argentina’s teachers are bracing for a difficult start to the new school year.

Education International (EI) has sent a letter to President Mauricio Macri of Argentina stating concern over the continuous threats aimed at Roberto Baradel, leader of Suteba and CTERA, an EI affiliate in the country. Baradel has been the target of repeated anonymous messages over the past few months, with one last email threatening to murder one of his children “before next Monday” should he call for a national strike in response to the stalling collective bargaining.

CTERA and other unions in the country are demanding the reopening of negotiations, which have been largely ignored by the conservative government of Macri through its education Minister, Esteban Bullrich. The unions are going to take collective action on March 6 and 7 if the Government continues to block the process.

In EI’s letter, General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen supports the call for the reopening of the negotiating process and further asks the government to grant Baradel and his family the necessary protection after the “cowardly actions that try to silence [his] actions in defence of fair working conditions, an improvement in teachers’ salaries, and the right to quality public education for all”.