Colombian teachers strike again over underinvestment and poor conditions

Colombian teachers have staged a national strike, the latest in a series of planned industrial actions this year over government failures to fulfil agreements made with the FECODE teacher’s union, the biggest trade union in the country. The agreement was supposed to address issues which produced 2017’s 37-day nationwide strike that shut down the public education system across the country.

The strike on Tuesday 23 October was over the lack of implementation of last year’s agreement to improve teacher training opportunities, increase salaries and invest in school infrastructure and resources.

Many Colombian schools and universities lack the necessary budgets to complete the 2018 academic year. There are major concerns over budgets for next year, which FECODE says may prevent students from completing their studies.

The ongoing disputes come as Colombia’s new president Iván Duque has petitioned the National Congress for increased military spending, despite the 2016 peace agreement to end over 50 years of internal armed conflict.