Slovak Teachers Initiative to Suspend Strike as of February 15

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Bratislava, February 9, (TASR) – As of Monday, February 15, the Slovak Teachers Initiative (ISU) will suspend the strike launched by dissatisfied teachers on Monday, January 25, ISU representatives informed TASR on Tuesday.

The teachers are thereby switching to a strike alert, while university educators are now set to take over the baton from them. They have created the University Lecturers Initiative (IVU) and are beginning a strike alert as of Tuesday and threatening a full-blown strike as of February 15.

Teachers at primary, secondary and nursery schools will thus return to schools as of Monday. “During the strike alert we’ll continue actively to push for our demands, pointing to shortcomings in the Slovak education sector and mobilising people linked to schools,” Branislav Kocan of ISU told TASR, adding that this isn’t the end.  

The university lecturers have the same demands as ISU. “If ISU’s demands aren’t met, we’ll call on all university lecturers and research workers to join an unlimited full-blown strike as of February 15,” said IVU representative Juraj Halas on Tuesday. The summer semester begins at most universities on that day. IVU is made up of a 16-member strike committee for now, featuring university lecturers from ten faculties of a number of Slovak universities.

ISU claims that over 15,000 teachers from around 1,000 schools joined the strike over the past two weeks. Some schools were closed, while others worked according to a limited timetable. There are 2,935 nursery, 2,113 primary and 868 secondary schools in Slovakia according to the Education, Science, Research and Sport Ministry’s figures. The total number of teachers in Slovakia is about 89,000.

Teachers cited long-term ignoring of the demands of the teaching community, trade unions and professional organisations involved in the education sector concerning adequate financing for schools as reasons for joining the strike.

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