LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Thousands of public sector workers in Slovenia have staged a one-day strike and protest demanding higher wages.

Blowing whistles, several thousand people rallied outside the government headquarters in the capital, Ljubljana. They carried banners reading "Decent work, decent pay" or "Slovenia is in the EU, but our salaries are not."

Wednesday's strike shut down some schools and kindergartens, and limited the work of some public services, health care and social services. The strike puts pressure on the centrist government of Prime Minister Miro Cerar before a parliamentary election later this year.

The protesters have demanded that the wage growth curbed in an austerity package in 2013 be restored at an equal pace in all sectors.

The government has rejected additional pay hikes, saying that recovery must be gradual.