President-elect Luis Guillermo Solis expressed solidarity with thousands of Costa Rican teachers who went on strike Monday to protest months-long delays in getting paid.

"It seems to me the situation in which they find themselves for quite a while now is unacceptable and we have to seek a situation to resolve the issue of salaries," Solis, himself a 30-year veteran of the teaching profession, told reporters.

Carrying banners and chanting slogans, hundreds of teachers marched from central San Jose to the Finance Ministry.

At least 7,000 teachers have been affected by the delays in issuing paychecks, according to their unions.

The problems are due to a transition to a new, more modern payroll system operated by the Finance Ministry, Education Minister Leonardo Garnier said.

Authorities expect to have the kinks worked out by the middle of this month, he said.

Solis, who takes office Thursday for a five-year term, called for a dialogue between the teachers and the outgoing government.

Leaders of the teachers unions met last Friday with Garnier, but the talks ended without agreement. EFE