San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Education Ministry promises to pay most teachers by Monday night

Education Ministry officials on Monday announced that payment of a backlog of public teachers’ salaries mostly would be completed by 9 p.m. tonight, hopefully resolving a tense situation that led to an ongoing nationwide teachers’ strike last week.

That strike continues, and a group of 100 teachers demonstrated Monday morning in front of the ministry in downtown San José, blocking Calle 16, one of the busiest roads in the capital. Traffic Police arrived at the protest site, but no arrests, injuries or damages were reported.

The strike began on May 5 after approximately 7,000 teachers had not received full payment of their salaries, some since February. Education Ministry officials blamed the error on a change in a computer system used for payments.

At 1 p.m. on Monday, union leaders met to outline further actions planned for Tuesday, following a meeting with Education Minister Sonia Marta Mora.

Although most of the backlog will be resolved by Monday night,  38 foreign teachers will not be paid due to problems with personal information or identification documents.

The ministry published a list of those teachers on its website, and asked them to contact the ministry’s human resources department to verify personal information.

Ana Doris González, president of the High School Teachers Association, said teachers will continue protesting in the capital and in other regions of the country until everyone is paid.

Contact L. Arias at

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