Teachers to Try New Tactics for Salary Raises

Striking teachers from the Royal University of Phnom Penh say they will meet Saturday morning to brainstorm new ways of getting a salary increase because the government has not responded to their demands.

Lav Cxxiv Iav, director of the study bureau of the university, refused to speculate on whether the teachers would end their strike or change their demands. He would say only that the agenda was open. The meeting will not be open to representatives of the government, he said.

University and high school teachers from Phnom Penh have been on strike since Monday. On Wednesday the strike spread to primary school teachers in the capital and to an unknown number of educators in Battambang, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

The Ministry of Education did not comment Thursday on the teachers’ plans. “We are too busy with meetings about the teachers strike,” said Bun Sok, undersecretary of state for education.

The ad hoc interministerial group studying the demands of the striking teachers sent a plan to end the work stoppage to Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday.

The proposal, if approved, would allow representatives of the teachers to negotiate with Education Minister Tol Lah as they requested. The proposal did not mention money specifically. Teachers are unaware of the proposal, according to Lav Cxxiv Iav.

Teachers are being paid $15 to $20 a month and are demanding a raise to $315.89 a month. The government offered a $5 monthly “bonus” to teachers nationwide on Jan 15 after threats of strikes from teachers at several schools in the capital.

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