Primary and secondary school teachers to go on strike on Thursday

Primary and secondary school teachers to go on strike on Thursday

Primary and secondary school teachers to go on strike on Thursday Izvor: Hrvoje Jelavic/PIXSELL

Croatian primary and secondary school teachers will go on strike on Thursday, leaders of the two biggest teachers' unions said after failed talks with the government, which refused their demand for a 6% wage increase.

Today's second round of conciliation talks between the NSZSSH and SHU unions and the government was unsuccessful, with the government refusing to agree to the unions' demand for a 6% increase of the job complexity index.

The strike will start in primary and secondary schools on October 10, NSZSSH leader Branimir Mihalinec said, adding that all teaching and non-teaching staff in primary and secondary schools would go on strike.

As of Friday, union action will continue with a rotating strike, taking place in different counties each day, until the unions' demands are met.

Later on Wednesday, Labour and Pension System Minister Josip Aladrovic said that the unions had rejected the government's offer of a 2% wage increase as of October 1 and as of June 1, 2020.

"The conciliation procedure has been completed. The unions showed up with the same demands. The government made an offer to raise their wages by two percent as of October 1 this year and by another two percent as of 1 June 2020. The annual cumulative cost of that would be HRK 320 million," Aladrovic said.

"We had to take care of financial sustainability and responsibility towards the state budget and that was our maximum offer," he stressed.

He added that an extra HRK 500 million had already been ensured this year for teachers' wages.

"The unions wanted a change in the job complexity index. Since that was not a subject of the negotiations, we could not accept it, but we presented an alternative to improve the financial status of teachers in primary and secondary schools. Unfortunately, that evidently was not enough for the unions and they turned our proposal down," said the minister.

(1 = 7.41 kuna)

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