PALMA SOME 100 delegates representing the interests of contract teaching staff working at educational centres around the Islands massed in protest yesterday outside the offices of the regional Education and Culture ministry in Palma.

The ministry is planning to raise the wage levels of contract teaching staff by 120 euros over a period of the next three years, but the protesters say this is “insufficient” and will highlight even further the difference in pay between themselves (who may work at different locations according to their contracts) and those teachers who are on a full-time salary paid by the government. Union representatives said the minister Barbara Galmes should listen to contract teacher demands before signing any agreement because the difference in pay could end up being as much as 160 euros between contract workers and government paid salaried staff. A ministry spokesman said he was very surprised at the protest because, he claimed, when the 120 euros increase was originally proposed, the Unions had expressed instant approval.