Teacher Trade Union Not to Ink Memorandum on Social Reconciliation with Gov’t

Education and Science Employees Trade Union head Pavel Ondek (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 30 (TASR) – The teacher trade union won’t sign a memorandum on the so-called social reconciliation with the Government that was supposed to guarantee to the Cabinet that teachers won’t organise strikes until 2020, TASR learnt on Wednesday.

Following an extraordinary session of the Education and Science Employees Trade Union (OZPSaV), its head Pavel Ondek announced that the unionists decided not to ink the memo, as they refuse to give up on their constitutional right to negotiate better working and salary conditions within annual collective bargaining.

“We didn’t approve the memorandum proposed by the Government and we don’t want to talk about social reconciliation, as there is that commitment concerning the year 2020. However, we want to hold collective bargaining also in the future,” said Ondek.

Last month the Government approved salary hikes for teachers by 6 percent as of September, with other increases by the same percentage due in September 2018 and 2019. However, in exchange for the salary hikes as of September, Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) expected that the trade union would sign a memorandum with the Government on refraining from organising strikes. In line with the Government Manifesto, another 6-percent hike should follow in January 2020.

“This is our proposal, we today made the first decision. In exchange for this proposal, we expect the signing of a memorandum on social reconciliation [by the trade union],” said Fico in July, adding that if the teacher trade union doesn’t sign the memo, the Government will postpone the hike from September to January 2018, as stipulated by the Manifesto.