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Far East teachers protest over arrears

Gateway to Russia, 27 November 2003

Amur Region teachers have started mass protests over delays in payment of salaries. Sixteen schools in the town of Zeya stopped their work for the period of one to three days this week. Over 1,000 people are taking part in the protest action.

The teachers of school No 11 in the town of Svobodnyi went on strike on Thursday until their salaries are paid in full, the chairman of the teachers' trade union regional council, Boris Molchanov, has told ITAR-TASS. Teachers have not received their September salaries in full yet, and total arrears by early November exceed 91 million roubles (over $3 million), he said.

The arrears problem has been aggravated by the Railways Ministry schools being transferred under the supervision of regional authorities. The Railways Ministry stopped financing such schools in Tynda, Magdagachi, Svobodnyi and other towns and villages as of 1 October. No financing is being received from other sources either, Molchanov added.