Teachers in Russia have been at the forefront of a nationwide public sector strike for better salaries. Close to a million people were said to have taken part in stoppages across the country. There were protests in cities and towns throughout Russia. The average monthly wage for a teacher is around 80 euros. Employees of the health, culture and science services also joined in the strike. Union leaders complain that a 30 per cent pay increase laid out in the budget for 2004 has yet to take effect. The parliamentary lower house, the Duma, is currently debating the budget for 2005. Negotiations are set to continue on Thursday.