December 20, 2010
BALYKCHY, Kyrgyzstan — Some 600 secondary school and kindergarten teachers today picketed the municipal administration building in Balykchy in Kyrgyzstan’s northern Issyk-Kul region in a protest over pay, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports.
The protesters are criticizing as insufficient the central government’s decision to give teachers a 30 percent pay raise as of January 1.
Local union leader Kurmanbek Jeenbaev told RFE/RL that the protest was continuing despite a meeting between Balykchy Mayor Mirlan Bobekov and the participants.
The Education Ministry promised a 30 percent pay increase for secondary school teachers, beginning in January, in response to strikes and protests earlier this month by teachers in the southern districts of Bazar-Korgon, Suzak, and Ozgon.
But last week disgruntled teachers in southern Alai district, northern Jeti-Oguz district and Talas Oblast staged similar protests, saying 30 percent was not enough.
Kyrgyz secondary school teachers earn an average monthly salary of some $30-$40.