BUENOS AIRES – Public schools in nine Argentine provinces remained closed Monday, the first day of the 2016 school year, because teachers unions and administrators did not reach an agreement over annual pay adjustments.
Classrooms were empty in the provinces of Neuquen, Tierra del Fuego, Chubut, Santa Cruz, Cordoba, Santa Fe, Entre Rios, Chaco and Mendoza.
Each of Argentina’s 23 provinces negotiates separately with their teachers, so the chances of reaching agreement vary widely.
Classes did start on schedule in Buenos Aires province, with 5 million schoolchildren, thanks to an accord reached at the eleventh hour.
The provincial teachers union signed an agreement with the Buenos Aires government last Saturday that included a 34.6 percent salary hike for new hires.
The provincial collective bargaining agreement followed a nationwide framework arrangement signed last Thursday that boosts base pay for starting teachers from 7,800 pesos ($500) to 8,500 pesos ($544) a month starting in July.