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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Union Urges Teachers to Strike for Pay

The Federation of Independent Unions on Friday urged teachers to take part in a national protest Jan. 27 to obtain back wages, Itar-Tass reported.

According to government figures, the state owes $5 billion in unpaid salaries to teachers, but the national teachers' union put the figure at $14 billion.

Schoolteachers in several districts in the Volgograd region already began their strike on Thursday and Friday. According to the unions, Moscow owes the region's teachers, some of whom have not been paid since May, 137 million rubles ($6.3 million).

Teachers' salaries, which are already very low at 300 to 800 rubles ($13 to $33) a month, remain unpaid because of the Russia's financial and budgetary crisis.

The deputy prime minister in charge of social affairs, Valentina Matviyenko, on Friday urged teachers not to join the protest.

She said the issue of back wages was complex but not hopeless, and noted that the situation was particularly difficult for employees dependent on regional budgets for their salaries.

Teachers' protests against the situation are increasingly frequent.