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Some union members speak out against leaders’ decision to interrupt teachers’ strike

Union members at several schools on Thursday, November 29 expressed dissatisfaction with the decision of their unions to interrupt the ongoing teachers strike. Employees of the Secondary Grammar School in Bilíkova Street in Bratislava decided to continue striking on Thursday; employees of the Gymnasium Metodova, also in Bratislava, said they were considering further steps.

Union members at several schools on Thursday, November 29 expressed dissatisfaction with the decision of their unions to interrupt the ongoing teachers strike. Employees of the Secondary Grammar School in Bilíkova Street in Bratislava decided to continue striking on Thursday; employees of the Gymnasium Metodova, also in Bratislava, said they were considering further steps.

“On Friday, you will probably not go to school again, as most teachers joined those who continued to strike until the teachers’ requirements are fulfilled. We will announce the final decision in the course of Thursday,” Ján Dančík, the headmaster at Bilíkova, wrote in a message to pupils on the school’s website. The Sáru Street Gymnasium in Bratislava is also not holding lessons, either, and its teachers say they plan to protest in front of the Government Office on Friday.

The teachers’ union leader at Gymnasium Metodova, Hana Kubalová, told the TASR newswire that her school’s students organised a protest in front of the building on Thursday morning. She said that teachers has backed an unlimited strike at the school on Wednesday, only to learn later the same day that the central school unions had interrupted the strike from 18:00. Teachers at the school in Novohradská Street in Bratislava also dissented from the central unions’ decision. The local union does not have the legal power to pursue an unlimited strike, but it criticised the central unions for failing to inform individual school unions, and for interrupting the strike before anything specific had been settled.

Teachers and employees at the gymnasium in the town of Myjava, in western Slovakia, also continued their strike. Union members there stated that they did not see any reason to end the strike, as no tangible results had been achieved and the original decision was to continue the strike until all their demands had been fulfilled. Deputy headmaster Radim Kovařík told TASR that teachers in Myjava were waiting for Thursday’s announcement by the central strike committee.

The strike committee stressed on the unions’ website that the strike was not ending but merely being interrupted, and argued that support for it had been declining, especially in the countryside and regions outside Bratislava. The so-called New Unions expressed dissatisfaction with the union leaders’ steps, calling them defeat, treason and concession.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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