PARIS -- Teachers went on strike across France on Thursday to protest government plans to cut jobs in the education system.
More than half of of France's secondary school teachers and 70 percent of primary school teachers have joined the strike, the unions said.
Education Minister Xavier Darcos said Thursday that he "heard" the teachers but "the job cuts will continue."
"What counts is the way in which we organize ourselves, the services provided by the teachers, but not simply the number of teachers," Darcos said on RTL Radio.
The government has cut 11,200 jobs from national education system. Another 13,500 educational positions are to disappear next year. Unions said the government wants to cut state costs at the expense of teachers and pupils.
Teachers are not the only professionals currently involved in labor disputes in France. Public TV broadcasters, doctors and air hostesses have also called strikes in the coming weeks.