Public school teachers in the Northern Marianas have a hard choice to make - accept a pay cut or get fired.
Last week, the CNMI Public School System (PSS) implemented austerity measures to halve salary increases and cut other benefits.
The PSS said those who opted not to sign the addendum on their contracts would be laid off in September.
RNZ Pacific's correspondent in the CNMI said teachers were mulling over whether to walkout this week in protest.
The Education Commissioner, Glenn Muna, said he sympathised with the staff being asked to make sacrifices.
But he said his leadership team was struggling with an inadequate budget and had to make hard decisions to avoid payless paydays.
Mr Muna has assured teachers that he will not stop trying to find an avenue to leverage resources to ease their burden.