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## Are Argentine education strikes justified?

 Quote by mege Regardless of the tenure policies in Argentina, should their actual working conditions have a bearing on if they should be able to strike? Should a law be written "Public educators are only allowed to strike if sufficently poor working conditions exist"? Then you're not really preventing the strikes at all. I still think that public worker strikes are in poor taste because the outcome can only really take away from another public good - which is very undemocratic*. The workers of the state are dictating funding arrangements to the government then.
Two points: firstly such a law would be almost impossible to write as it would have to define appropriate working conditions and whilst the law does protect workers with things like minimum wage, health and safety etc it can't say whether or not government policies are fair. Secondly you have to consider the long term public good otherwise that's an argument against any public sector strike. It could be that this strike is successful, increases resources to education and increases societal well-being as a result.
 Quote by mege *If the public worker strike is successful, the public worker has essentially 'doubled their influence' on the government. They can vote in general elections and they can hold the government (and tax payers) hostage with their all-in bargaining techniques. This gives them an extreme and (IMO) undue influence on policy. Public workers have a chance to influence policy decisions at the ballot box like everyone else. Why should they be afforded an extra influence?
Striking is a form of practical democracy. A democratic society cannot maintain itself simply by voting (unless you are advocating some sort of direct democracy), there must be other avenues. I don't know how it is in the US but in the UK for a strike to be legal various checks have to be completed such as a vote being put forth to all members about whether or not to strike. Finally if they do strike and their position is against public will then the strike will fail, this is democracy in action! If a sector threatened to maintain a strike for a long time and public will was against it then political will would work around it by providing alternate infrastructure e.g. if fire fighters strike the military are bought in. At the end of the day a striking labour force cannot succeed against public will.

I've been reading your answers for the past weeks; thank you all for the feedback you provided. I've come to the conclusion that perhaps I was overreacting, and that moralism is useless when it is seen as a weakness by politicians. Desperate times justify desperate actions, and I guess our deficient government forced their hand.

The national strike lasted several days, and even today some provinces and universities continue to sporadically strike. The last offer from within the government was a monthly minimum base salary of 2800 AR$(That's about 609 USD$/month, with an interannual inflation rate of about 30% and a 2011 fiscal deficit of 34 Billion AR$). The teacher's syndicate is currently evaluating whether to accept the terms or continue striking.  Quote by Ryan_m_b Welcome to the forums! I'm unfortunately not clued up on internal Argentinian affairs (I'm from the UK and all news regarding Argentina is focused on our relationship) but I'm sorry to hear about the situation your teachers are in. Education is one of the most important things in a society and it needs to be properly funded. Regarding the strike I'm tentatively afraid to say that it probably is necessary, strikes stir up widespread public and political attention and force a situation to progress. Yes, Kirchnerism has been inflating the Falklands/Malvinas issue by the use empty nationalism in order to divert the public's attention from our socio-economical decline. Same thing the dictatorship did several decades ago. It seems we people never learn.  Quote by mege This is probably the largest beef I have with any public worker union (and thus their strikes). Whenever the bargainers want more, it comes from something else of public use or value ('larger cut from state expenses', what gets shrunk then?). There is no 'robber baron' at the top whom is profiting from the 'pitiful wages' at the bottom like there is possible in a large private corporation. Ultimately, a public worker strike of any type results in a sort of thug-democracy because they are overriding the available democratic processes for their own personal gain. Sadly, this isn't true in Argentina. Several large-scale construction projects have been used by our government to launder money. Political parties affiliated to Kirchnerism receive ample money incentives (just to name an example, some students in my university get a monthly 8.000 - 12.000 AR$ for voting in favour of a particular student-political-party's projects) and so do the people that gather to support our president's speeches and clap to them (yes, they are paid to clap at her). Moreover, 1 Billion AR\$ are wasted on subsidies to televised soccer and rally, and partial TV shows that portrait their party as the best one this country has ever had. In a nutshell: The money's there, it's only being used to promote their own goals instead of the country's.

 Quote by ThomasT So for the few days that children can't attend school because teachers want more money, then the children can be taught at home. What's the problem?
This is, for the vast majority of our population, not a valid option. The working class, on average, needs to work all day, and home-schooling is expensive as hell.

 Quote by ThomasT Also, the tenure system makes it extremely difficult to fire bad teachers. Bad truck drivers or plumbers or electricians, etc., don't make much money. Probably less than bad teachers, I'm guessing.
I'm not completely sure, but I think there's no tenure system system in Argentina (certainly not for sub-university education). Truck drivers have a strong syndicate here (maybe too strong) and they get a salary many, many times higher than that of a teacher. When they feel such wage is not enough, they unanimously strike all across our land and our economy paralyzes. Same can be said for the workers on the subway of Buenos Aires, and they behave similarly.

 Tags education, ethics, morality, politics, strike

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