No agreement was reached between striking public school teachers and the government despite four hours of negotiations between union representatives and Prime Minister Robert Fico and other ministers on Tuesday, November 27. The strike by teachers and school employees is thus set to continue, the TASR newswire wrote. The next steps, or potential suspension of the strike, will be decided by the strike committee on Wednesday morning.
“We still have a lot to negotiate,” Fico told TASR after the negotiations, held in Bratislava's Hotel Bôrik. “I believe that in a short time, a decision will be made that will satisfy both sides.” He added that various proposals were discussed but that before a memorandum was agreed he did not want to discuss them.
The protesters have addressed a joint statement to the government and parliament in which they are demanding improvements in the education sector and a 10-percent salary increase. In their statement they demand that the government signs a memorandum with the teachers unions containing gradual steps over a four-year period so that Slovakia’s share of GDP spent on education catches up with that of other EU members. The protesting teachers also demanded in their address to MPs that next year's budget allocates enough money to increase salaries for all education sector employees by 10 percent.
Education Minister Dušan Čaplovič has said he understands the demands of the teachers but has insisted that the budget situation does not allow them to be given any more than the 5-percent pay rise already offered.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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