Three Lessons Dropped by Teachers Joining Gradual Strike

Third day of teachers' strike (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 29 (TASR) – A total of 2,031 teachers from 190 schools joined the so-called ‘gradual strike’ on Thursday, representatives of organiser – the Slovak Teachers Initiative (ISU) – told TASR on the same day.

Teachers from schools from all regions of Slovakia have joined the strike. There are around 6,590 schools (of all kinds) and over 71,500 teachers in Slovakia.

Three lessons were dropped by teachers that joined the strike on Thursday. “About 6,000 lessons were dropped in total again today, however, the government and the ministry seem not to mind this situation at all, which is surprising to us,” said Branislav Kocan of ISU.

A total of 1,773 teachers from 106 schools joined the strike on its first day (Tuesday, September 13) when one lesson was dropped. Two lessons were dropped on the second strike day (Wednesday, September 21) when it was joined by some 2,000 teachers from 150 schools. The numbers of teachers who joined the strike are thus roughly the same, however, the number of connected schools grew this time.

ISU sees the reason for [the relatively low] number of teachers who joined the strike in the ongoing negotiations on the 2017 collective agreement. “We were told by many of our peers that they are waiting for a step to be made by the trade union association. They took a wait-and-see approach,” said Vladimir Crmoman of ISU.

They want the salaries for teaching and expert non-teaching staff at primary and secondary schools to be increased across the board by €140 per month this year and by another €90 per month as of 2017. Apart from that, the budgets of the ministries of education and interior should be increased by €400 million in order to make it possible to eliminate gaps in terms of the equipment available to individual schools.

If the situation doesn’t change, four lessons will be dropped on Friday, October 7.

The strike is not supported by either the Education and Science Employees Trade Union Association (OZPSaV) or the Confederation of Trade Unions (KOZ).