Teaching union calls on members to join ‘feminist strike’ on March 8

On International Women’s Day, USTEC-STEs-IAC wants to focus attention on gender pay gap and glass ceiling in educational sector

International Women's Day march in 2017 (by ACN)
International Women's Day march in 2017 (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

March 5, 2018 05:41 PM

The so-called ‘feminist strike’, a 24-hour stoppage by women all over Spain planned for March 8, continues to gain union support. The latest is the USTEC-STEs-IAC teaching union, the largest educational union in Catalonia, which on Monday called on its members to join the strike on International Women’s Day to protest the gender pay gap and the glass ceiling in the educational sector. The union also wants to focus attention on the need for mixed-sex education to help prevent gender-based violence.

Yet the strike called for March 8, which has also received the backing of Spain’s two largest trades unions, CCOO and UGT, is not just about work. The stoppage also aims to include other areas of life in which females play a leading role - usually for no pay - such as domestic tasks, family care, education and even consumption. Smaller stoppages also took place on International Women's Day last year, but this is the first time that a general 24-hour walkout all over Spain has been planned.

USTEC-STEs-IAC women’s secretary, Teresa Esteve, said on Monday that if a majority of staff in a school decide to join the strike, then the male employees will be expected to provide a minimum service and allow their female colleagues to join the industrial action. Yet, Esteve admitted that it will be “difficult” to manage school services on the day as the vast majority of staff in schools are women (74.5% according to figures for the 2016-2017 school year).

Council support

The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and women workers of the city council will be joining the International Women's Day march on Thursday. A poster supporting women's rights will also be hung from the council headquarters.