Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday the strike which began in elementary and high schools today was "absurd and unnecessary" and appealed to unions to be reasonable and return to dialogue.
"We talked with the unions, there was conciliation. We offered them a 2% pay rise this year and as much next year. For some unfathomable reason, the unions didn't accept that," he said at the start of a cabinet meeting.
Instead of accepting the government's offer, they insisted on changing the job complexity index for teachers, which is regulated by the government, Plenkovic said.
There was no justified reason for this strike, he said, adding that his government had carried out an education reform and introduced a new methodology which should better prepare students for the labour market.
He called the union demands "fabricated, absurd and unnecessary," saying that neither the basic nor the branch collective agreement had expired.
"This demand is about changing the (job complexity) index, which is regulated by government decree. Going on strike when you are offered 4% instead of the 6% you are asking for seems a little exaggerated. This is no will for a compromise but for some sort of obstruction. We distinguish between what is logical and normal and what seems exaggerated," Plenkovic said.
We are open for talks and I hope reason will prevail, he added.