Colombia’s main teacher union FECODE announces two-day strike

Colombia’s largest teacher trade union, FECODE, has announced a two-day strike on 9-10 May in protest against what it says are government failures to fulfil agreements made over educational funding and health benefits for teachers. FECODE spokesperson Over Dorado said that only around five per cent of prior agreements so far had been implemented and that the education system was underfunded this year by at least $2 billion Colombian pesos (£523,000).

Dorado also said that health provisions failed to provide adequate cover for teaching staff and their families, with treatment for serious illnesses beyond the means of many workers. The allocation of resources to the teaching sector must not be taken from other social investment programmes, Dorado added. FECODE are calling on the government to raise educational investment by six to seven per cent per year.

The Ministry of Education said that it had fulfilled all the agreements made with FECODE last year following a massive nationwide strike that lasted 37 days.

The strike will see large-scale mobilisations of FECODE members in Colombian towns and cities.