Palma.—But, demonstrations against the Balearic government's recent wave of cuts to both the educational and medical services are not going to end there with all of the medical unions uniting in protest action every Friday at medical centres and hospitals across the region. A general strike is not being ruled out if the government is not prepared to negotiate. Yesterday, The five main teachers' unions CCOO, ANPE, CSIF, STES and UGT called a one-day strike on May 22 to protest against government cuts and to demonstrate support of the state education system.

In a statement to the press union leaders explained that the cuts brought in by central and regional government “equate to cuts of between 25 and 30 per cent in the education budget” and that these “brutal” cuts come on top of numerous others made in state education over the past few years and represent the “biggest backward step ever” in the sector.

They pointed out that with the latest government reforms, classrooms “will become overcrowded again” with groups of up to 30 students in infant and primary; up to 36 in secondary and up to 42 (or even 46) in sixth form.

Furthermore, substitutes will not be found for teachers during the first two weeks of any sick leave, which the unions say “will create huge organisational problems in many centres” and will amount to “hardship for pupils”.

They added that pulling out of certain support programmes in infant education and in new technologies, and changes to vocational training programmes, amount to “a step backward” in the quality of the education system.

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