Peruvian police clash with school teachers rallying for wage hikes
Peruvian riot police have clashed with protesting teachers and education workers who have been on strike to demanding wage increase for over the past two months.
Dressed in full riot gear, police fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of demonstrators, who were marching through some of the major streets in the capital, Lima, on Wednesday.
The angry demonstrators temporarily closed a number of streets and even tried to erect a makeshift roadblock on a downtown thoroughfare, but police forces managed to clear the streets of striking teachers and break up their gatherings.
School teachers from some parts of the Latin American country, including the capital, have been on strike now for the past 70 days, demanding higher wages and calling on the government of Pedro Pablo Kuzinski to allocate more funds to the education sector.
The education system is largely crippled in Peru. Kuzinski has already urged teachers to return to the classroom, admitting that teachers had not had a significant salary increase for more than a decade.
However, he said that his government had given them a raise and there would be another one due to be received by teachers at the end of the year.
He added that the minimum paycheck would increase by 30 percent to 2,000 ($617) per month. But teachers say they won’t stop protesting until their demands are met.
The striking teachers also oppose the proposed education reforms that they say will slash workers’ rights.