Decision on Teachers' Strike to Be Known on Wednesday

By 7 October 2019

ZAGREB, October 7, 2019 - The conciliation procedure between the government and school unions continues on Wednesday, when it will be known if on October 10 teachers in primary and secondary schools will go on strike as announced, participants in the first conciliation round, held on Monday, told the press.

The leaders of the Croatian Teachers Union (SHU) and the Independent Union of Secondary School Employees (NSZSSH), Sanja Šprem and Branimir Mihalinec, on Monday morning started a conciliation procedure with Labour Minister Josip Aladrović in a collective dispute over the unions' demand for a wage increase.

After the three-hour meeting, Minister Aladrović told reporters that it had been agreed with the unions to continue the conciliation procedure on Wednesday.

Mihalinec said that the unions had accepted the government's proposal to continue with the conciliation procedure and added that it would be known on Wednesday if the announced strike in primary and secondary schools would be held on October 10.

"If the conciliation procedure is successful, we will stop our protest and strike activities. If not, we will inform the public of the modalities of the strike," Mihalinec said.

The unions said before the start of the conciliation procedure that they would not give up on their demand of a 6.11% increase in the job complexity index and would discuss only the modalities and pace of achieving that goal during the conciliation procedure.

Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said that she still hoped an agreement would be reached and that the strike would not be held.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said last Friday the government had offered school unions the maximum it could this year, a 2% increase of the job complexity index, and that it was necessary to find a balance.

Speaking at a press conference, he said the government could not accommodate the unions' demand for a 6% increase this year.

"We have also proposed that talks should continue at a later date, but now, when I don't have the whole picture of next year's state budget, I can't commit to something for which I haven't made calculations. Those are not small amounts, they concern a large number of people, it's necessary to have a budget for that."

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