The event began as an initiative of teachers from Bratislava who said they will go to the doctor or to donate blood on November 19. They called their protest “The Health Day”. The teachers were later joined by their colleagues from other towns and villages in Slovakia. According to information from the Slovak Chamber of Teachers (SKU), altogether 127 schools have already said they will be closed, the Denník N daily reported. The number may be even higher.
“Some schools will be closed completely, while the others will work in restricted regime,” Vladimír Crmoman of SKU told Denník N.
The protest takes place despite the earlier promise of Education Minister Juraj Draxler that teachers will receive a Christmas bonus of €100. This would concern 72,000 employees. Several teachers, however, have criticised the step, according to Denník N.
The Initiative of Bratislava Teachers (IBU), the initiator of the protest, has meanwhile apologised to parents for causing problems with securing care for their children.
“We however think that only such actions can force the government to devote more attention to schools and educating children,” the IBU wrote in a statement, as quoted by Denník N.
The Health Day is the second event of IBU. The first one was the Rally of Long Noses held in early November. At the time more than 300 teachers met in front of the Government Office to protest against their low salaries.
Crmoman has already admitted that similar events may turn into big strikes held before the elections.
“If it was up to me, a strike would be the only solution for the school system,” Crmoman said, as quoted by Denník N. “But we do not want to make the same mistake as some people before us who were not prepared and did not initiate the mass mobilisation. It is necessary to mobilise teachers.”
18. Nov 2015 at 12:53 | Compiled by Spectator staff