Sat, 08 Apr 2000

Bogor teachers plan mass strike

BOGOR (JP): Some 300 teachers said on Friday they would hold a three-day strike next week to protest their meager salaries and the government's refusal to increase their benefits.

Grouped in the Indonesian Teachers Association (PGRI), the teachers plan to begin the strike on April 13, chief of Bogor's PGRI Aim Halim Hermana said.

"This strike is necessary since the government doesn't care about the welfare of teachers. If our demands are not met, the strike will continue for a month," Aim said.

"We asked for a 300 percent raise. The government gave us only 15 percent, plus (additional) allowances of between Rp 90,000 (US$12) to Rp 140,000. It's not enough."

Aim said another meeting of 6,000 teachers would be held to discuss the issue on April 10.

He added that teachers planned to increase homework for students if the strike went ahead.

"We have asked for support from Education International (EI), a world teachers organization representing 185 countries, so that our government pays attention to the plight of our teachers," he said.

Elementary school teacher Frans Resi Lowi said the strike was a clear way to help improve the welfare of teachers.

A high school student said he would be happy if the teachers went on strike because he would spend more time away from school.

PGRIs in several cities and towns across the country have made the same threat. (21/ylt)