Thousands of Slovak teachers have gone on strike to demand higher pay, forcing authorities to close hundreds of schools across the country.

Organizers say more than 11,000 teachers from over 700 schools are participating in the strike.

They say the average salary for teachers in Slovakia is only about 650 euros ($703) per month and has barely increased in the last five years. They want a pay rise of 140 euros per month this year and another 90 euros per month next year.

They also ask for more money for the education sector.

The government said it would not be able to do anything for them until the next parliamentary elections, scheduled for early March.

The teachers plan to rally in the capital Bratislava on Monday.