IVU: Over 560 University Lecturers Have Joined Strike so Far

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Students and teachers of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics of the Comenius University that interrupt lecturing every day at 12.05 and gather in the lobby to show support to teachers and lecturers' strike (TASR)

Bratislava, February 29 (TASR) – So far, more than 560 employees from 20 universities have joined the strike organised by the University Lecturers Initiative (IVU), which has now started its third week, announced IVU’s Juraj Halas at a briefing on Monday.

“The strike at universities is continuing. The university employees on strike have planned several events for the third week, as well,” said Halas.

For example, discussions on the topic of the future of education will be held in various locations. “A symbolic protest by students called ‘Five Minutes Past 12’ will continue, thereby interrupting lectures for ten minutes every day,” said Halas.

University lecturers will also visit primary and secondary schools that participated in the strike held by the Slovak Teachers Initiative (ISU), which then handed on the baton to IVU.

Halas announced that on Tuesday (March 1) a funeral march entitled ‘The Funeral of Education, Let’s Mourn Our Future’ will take place in Bratislava. The event is to start at 5 p.m. on Hviezdoslav Square. From there the participants will march to Freedom Square in front of the Government Office. “With this march we’ll express sorrow over the fate of Slovak education and the uneasy status of the bereaved,” said Halas.

As of Monday, February 15, some university lecturers stopped work and went on strike, thus following up the activities of the Slovak Teachers Initiative (ISU), which has suspended its own strike, but remains on strike alert. Despite the protests, universities remain open, with employees organising cultural events and discussions.

IVU is pushing for the same demands as ISU. It wants salary increases for all teaching and other professional staff in regional education by €140 per month as of this year and by €90 per month as of the beginning of 2017. It also demands increases in the budgets of the Education and Interior Ministries to the tune of hundreds of millions of euros in order to tackle differences in equipment among individual institutions.