From Thu Oct 16 11:25:04 2003
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 10:59:46 -0500 (CDT)
From: Nicaragua Network <>
Subject: Nicaragua Network Hotline
Article: 165780
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Teachers Take to the Streets

Nicaragua Network Hotline, 29 September 2003

In an effort to force the Treasury Ministry to stop dragging its feet and ratify an agreement negotiated with the Bolaqos government to release an additional $30 million for a small raise in teachers' salaries, the National Association of Teachers (ANDEN) announced an escalating series of actions. Elementary and secondary teachers make less than $100 a month. The National Assembly passed a budget with raises for teachers that produced a threat from the International Monetary Fund to cut off loans to Nicaragua. ANDEN subsequently negotiated Bolaqos' support, but teachers are concerned that behind-the-scenes maneuvering will snatch away their miniscule gain.

Several hundred teachers picketed outside the Treasury Ministry in Managua and they will maintain a vigil through the middle of October, and are calling for similar actions in every Department of the country. The leaders stressed that classes would not be interrupted, but that the school day would be shortened. In addition, said Josi Antonio Zepeda, General Secretary of ANDEN, on the first of October, we'll begin a hunger strike right across the road from the minister's office. Our slogan will be: 'If the government obliges us to fast every day, today we're going to do it voluntarily.' A different department of the country will undertake to fast on site each succeeding day, with the exception of those of the Atlantic Coast, and, on October 15, the fast will conclude with a national 'March for Education and Teachers' Rights,' in which everyone who is concerned about the state of education in Nicaragua will be encouraged to participate.