The Initiative of Slovak Teachers (ISU) is ready to continue the graded strike, which started on September 13, with a march to the Finance Ministry.
They are responding to the current negotiations over the higher-level collective agreements for 2017, in which the state proposes to increase the salaries of all employees in state and public administration, except for teachers, by 3 percent.
“We consider the proposal of the finance minister that pedagogic employees should not see their salaries increase as of January 1 as a mockery,” said Branislav Kočan of ISU, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
The protest march will take place on October 7 and will start at 8:30 from the building of the trade unions.
“It will be a march for those who disagree with the way the status of teachers is belittled in our society,” Jarmila Javorková of ISU said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “It is also a march for those who disagree with the zero increase in teachers’ salaries, regarding the promises made as a mockery.”
In addition to the protest march, the participating schools will not teach during the first four lessons.
ISU will shorten the breaks between the days when teachers strike, from eight to six. The next strikes will take place on October 13, 19 and 25. During these days the teachers will not teach during the first four lessons, explained Vladimír Crmoman of ISU, as reported by TASR.
Finance Minister Peter Kažimír (Smer) meanwhile said that the teachers saw their salaries increase in September, as reported by the Sme daily.
This was however a much smaller increase than the one demanded by dissatisfied teachers. They want the state to increase their tariff salaries by €140 this year and by €90 as of the beginning of 2017. They also want to increase the funds for education by €400 million to remove the disparity between the equipment in schools, TASR wrote.