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Teachers continue relay strike, maintain FinMin’s 11% figure is misleading

An increase in salaries by 5 percent and a regulation according to which towns and cities would have to allocate all their per-head contributions (based on the number of pupils, and used to cover all school operational costs) on teachers’ salaries will certainly not result in the 11.2-percent hike in salaries declared by the Finance Ministry last week, the teachers’ trade union stated on Monday, December 10.

An increase in salaries by 5 percent and a regulation according to which towns and cities would have to allocate all their per-head contributions (based on the number of pupils, and used to cover all school operational costs) on teachers’ salaries will certainly not result in the 11.2-percent hike in salaries declared by the Finance Ministry last week, the teachers’ trade union stated on Monday, December 10.

"We definitely disagree with such a measure, and we want the situation to be resolved with regards to the teachers' trade union's demands," the union stressed as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that the Finance Ministry's statement is misleading. The union is not planning another country-wide strike before Christmas.

Relay protests and strikes by individual schools around Slovakia will take place as planned this week, however. Teachers from five Bratislava secondary schools brought a calculator and Grade 6 math textbooks as gifts for Prime Minister Robert Fico and Finance Minister Peter Kažimír on the same day.

"We've brought two identical pairs of calculators and textbooks for both the prime minister and the finance minister because they arrived at different percentages when taking the same financial package into account. Hopefully, this will do the trick and help them arrive at the same result," said teacher Branislav Kočan. The gift-bearers chose sixth grade-level math textbooks, as the sixth grade is when percentages are taught. The discontented teachers were responding Fico’s statements, who claimed on Thursday that teacher salaries should rise by €50, while Kažimír claimed the figure should be €94. Kažimír accounts this discrepancy to Fico stating the most pessimistic number. Kočan maintains that the real salaries are quite different – lower – than these charts indicate.

Some schools around Slovakia continued to strike on Monday in the form of shutdowns and street protests, TASR learned. Teachers from Púchov Grammar School – in Trenčín Region - travelled to Bratislava to express their dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in the Slovak education system in front of the Government Office. Bratislava's Medzilaborecká Primary School and Ladislav Novomeský Secondary Grammar School (in Tomášikova Street) remained closed.

Prešov teachers are launching a series of protests organised by their trade union on Tuesday. Two secondary grammar Schools in Banská Bystrica will join the strike with a protest on Tuesday and another one on Wednesday, the SITA newswire wrote. Further protests and strikes are scheduled in Trnava, Nitra, Košice, Trenčín and Bratislava on Wednesday. The issue may also be debated in parliament, as the opposition has initiated a special session.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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