Teachers and lecturers at about 90 percent of primary and nursery schools, 80 percent of secondary schools and about one third of universities plan to take part in a nationwide strike set for Thursday, September 13, the TASR newswire reported.
However, the Association of Slovak Catholic Schools has refused to join the strike. Head of the association Ján Horecký explained that his members would not be participating because of statements by teachers' trade unions in which they asked the Education Ministry as well as the Government Office to change the rules for financing schools so that only state and public schools would be funded from the state budget, TASR wrote.
Meanwhile, the opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party expressed support for the strike, saying that the measures passed by the government of Robert Fico would negatively affect the living standards of teachers, as their salaries are not set to be increased in the way the former government (of which SaS was a part) had planned.
“[The government] is doing its best to discourage people from making any effort,” said SaS leader Richard Sulík, as quoted by TASR.
He cited the example of a teacher, Zdenka, who has two children and earns €600 a month. She also earns €80 in an education centre as a part-time teacher. After deductions, Zdenka currently has €587 a month to live on, but when the government’s changes are adopted, she will have only €557, according to Sulík.
“Not only will the government fail to ‘give’ something to these people, it will ‘take’ from them instead,” Sulík added.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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