Sat, 08 Apr 2000

Teachers issue strike threat

CIANJUR, West Java: Some 12,000 teachers here have threatened to go on strike and hold mass demonstrations next week to denounce the government's lack of attention to their welfare.

Antara reported the teachers were fully prepared for the action.

"We are serious about the threat because we are tired of being politically and socially suppressed," one of the teachers said on Friday.

Deputy chairman of the local Indonesian Teachers Union (PGRI) Zainal Hafidin confirmed the plan. "These teachers are ignored all the time. So it is necessary for them to go on strike," he said.

Hafidin said the recent rulings by the local administration that restrict school supervisory positions to teachers with master's degree and the scrapping of rice allowances provoked the teachers to strike.

"The regulation is a heavy blow to teachers who have been in service for years but do not hold the degree," he added. (dja)