Wednesday, September 2, 1998 Published at 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Siberian teachers strike over pay arrears
Teachers are owed millions of roubles in unpaid wages
Schools in Siberia, in the east of Russia, have closed after the first day of the new school year as teachers strike over unpaid wages.
Almost 11,000 teachers have begun a three-day strike, in protest at the failure of the government to resolve problems with paying public sector workers.
Teachers in the region say that they are owed millions of roubles in unpaid wages from the last school year and will strike again if necessary.
This week has already seen a boycott of the first day of the new school year by teachers in Vladivostok, also in pursuit of unpaid wages.
If the Russian authorities are unable to satisfy teachers, there are threats of a national strike in October.
Anger among teachers over missing pay led to a wave of industrial unrest last school year.
Among the protests, teachers blocked roads in Volgograd and in Archangelsk teachers boycotted exams.
In Moscow teachers from across the country gathered for a demonstration against underfunding in education generally.