Teachers started a national strike for an undetermined period of time on Monday, as declared by the Mongolian Education and Science Trade Unions on November 11.

They plan to strike until they get a 50-percent pay rise.

The head of the union, D.Batzorig, admitted during a press conference on November 11 that teachers managed to bargain their way to getting a higher salary but complained that it doesn’t actually increase their base salary.

“The temporary committee of public teachers demanding a pay increase had split in half and were confusing the public in regards to the teachers’ strike. Today, the majority of teachers notified that they will join our strike,” he said.

D.Batzorig clarified that the temporary committee made a false announcement about the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports agreeing to give teachers an incentive of 500,000 MNT twice.

“Around 300,000 MNT of the supposedly promised incentive will be distributed from the 55 billion MNT designated from the 2017 state budget for raising state workers’ income. The remaining 200,000 MNT is an incentive which teachers get every season in accordance with an agreement established between the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions and Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports,” he explained.

“The incentive is not a measure aimed to increase teachers’ pay. Hence, we will continue to strike until our base salary is raised by 50 percent,” D.Batzorig announced.

Reportedly, the majority of teachers are “malcontent” with the 500,000 MNT incentives. In its place, they demand the government to sign an agreement on increasing teachers’ salary by the end of the fourth quarter of 2017 with the International Monetary Fund and increase the base salary of everyone working in the education and science sector by no less than 50 percent, starting from January 1, 2018.

As shared during Saturday’s press conference, teachers and staff from 105 general education schools in Ulaanbaatar, another 72 schools operating in rural settlements, 11 scientific organizations, 161 kindergartens in Ulaanbaatar, and 56 kindergartens in other parts of Mongolia will join the strike.

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