Construction and Physical Planning Minister Predrag Stromar on Wednesday said that teachers deserved higher wages, noting that higher wages were part of the education reform, however, he would not say explicitly if this was pressure by his Croatian People's Party (HNS) on its senior coalition partner the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), adding that the HNS would talk with its partners.
After an inner cabinet meeting, Minister Stromar commented on the support Science and Education Minister Blazenka Divjak, a non-party minister appointed from the HNS quota, had expressed publicly for school unions regarding their demand for a wage increase.
“Minister Divjak has done a great deal of work in this government, she has conducted the greatest reform in education ever, and now it is the teachers’ turn,” Stromar said.
He added that wage increases are part of the education reform and that teachers deserve it, noting that the HNS wants the “reform to pass.” He said that it was necessary to take account of the budget but that teachers should have higher wages as well.
Asked whether his expressing support for the unions was in fact an act of pressure by the HNS on the HDZ, Stromar said that the HNS would talk with its partners but not in front of the media.
“The HNS wants the education reform to pass just like we want to resolve the housing issue for 20,000 young people who need to have a home in Croatia, work here and contribute to the economy,” he added.