Honduran Teachers End Strike

[Source – Latin American Herald Tribune]
TEGUCIGALPA – Honduran teachers agreed to end their month-long strike after the government pledged to pay some $189 million in past-due contributions to the educators’ pension fund, President Porfirio Lobo said.

“After arduous days and deliberations an accord has been reached,” he said late Monday in a broadcast speech.

“In a negotiation, you neither gain everything nor lose everything,” Lobo said. “You seek consensus.”

The government has been in arrears to the teachers pension fund since 2007 and the accumulated debt exceeds 3.6 billion lempiras ($189 million).

Lobo said that his government, which took office Jan. 27, has accepted “as its own the debts taken on by earlier administrations … to the teachers union.”

While agreeing to make good on the debt, Lobo rejected the teachers’ demand that he dismiss Education Minister Alejandro Ventura.

The teachers signed the 26-point pact with the understanding that they will resume their protests if the government fails to fulfill its obligations, union official Edgardo Casaña told reporters at the presidential palace.

“We will be vigilant to compliance with the accord,” he said, confirming that classes would resume Tuesday for the country’s more than 2 million public school students. EFE