Polish teachers go on strike over pay, canceling classes

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Teachers in Poland have gone on a nationwide strike to demand higher pay after days of talks with the government failed to meet demands by the majority of teachers unions.

The open-ended strike by school and kindergarten teachers that started Monday is the first such widespread action by Poland’s chronically underpaid educators since 1993.

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It comes at a sensitive time, just days before crucial end-of-school exams in primary and middle schools, and weeks ahead of elections to the European Parliament that are key for the government.

The go-ahead for the protest was given after last-ditch talks with the government failed Sunday night. Only the small Solidarity union accepted the government proposals and is not on strike.

Many schools are closed to students.