Unions hail "success" of sixth education strike in Madrid

Attendance numbers vary between organizers and education department

The sixth day of teachers strikes in Madrid was attended by a "majority" of the 49,000 educators called onto the streets, labor unions said on Thursday. Calling the rally against spending cuts by the regional government of Esperanza Aguirre "a success," the unions said that the action had "affected, in large or small part, practically all of the schools in the region."

Unlike previous demonstrations against the cutbacks being implemented by the Popular Party-run regional administration, primary as well as high school teachers were called to the banner. The unions said that 50 percent of primary school teachers had turned out at the strike, and 68 percent of high school teachers had also done so. The regional education department in Madrid released its own figures: 30 percent of high school teachers and 12 percent of their primary counterparts. According to EL PAÍS' own data, 53 percent of high school teachers attended the march.

More than 650,000 students aged between three and 18 were affected by the stoppage, which called for the "immediate" reinstatement of 3,600 substitute teachers who were laid off at the start of the school year. "Madrid must convene a sectorial negotiating table or [regional education chief] Lucía Figar must resign," said Eduardo Sabina of the UGT union.

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