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More Kyrgyz Teachers Join Pay Protest


Teachers in many areas of Kyrgyzstan are saying 30 percent just isn't enough.

Teachers in many areas of Kyrgyzstan are saying 30 percent just isn't enough.

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.

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