IVU: More than 500 University Lecturers Join Strike

University lecturers taking over the "strike relay baton" from primary and secondary school teachers. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 22 (TASR) – The strike organised by the University Lecturers Initiative (IVU) has been joined by 504 lecturers from 19 universities, IVU’s Juraj Halas announced at a press briefing on Monday.

The strike was recently joined by staff from the Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies of the Slovak Technical University, the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences of Comenius University and the Pedagogical Faculty of Trnava University.

“More than 15 gatherings and cultural events related to the strike will take place this week,” said Halas. For example, marches in several Slovak towns are scheduled for Wednesday, with the lecturers on strike planning to “beat out the truth on Slovak education”.

“If this Government remains in place until March 5, then it still makes sense to put pressure on it or on any government that will emerge from the general election,” said Halas.

IVU claims that the strike doesn’t immediately concern university education at all – it’s about supporting the demands of teachers from nursery, primary and secondary schools, who were on strike between January 25-February 15. “Nevertheless, we realise that without improving their situation and without more funds being allocated to these schools, we won’t see any significant improvements in university education, either,” said Halas.

“Commencing on Tuesday, we’ll interrupt lectures at noon for five minutes each day, gathering in front of our faculties and on courtyards to express our support for teachers’ claims,” said students representative Ina Secikova.

Meanwhile, Education, Science, Research and Sport Minister Juraj Draxler views the strike by university lecturers as a mere symbolic gesture by individuals. Earlier, the Slovak Rectors Conference (SRK) also described the activities of individual IVU members as their own private initiatives. IVU rejects such views, however, pointing out that as many as one quarter of staff at several faculties have joined the strike.