Circular Strike in Schools to Continue until November 1

By 21 October 2019

ZAGREB, October 21, 2019 - School unions said on Monday that 93% of elementary and 89% of high school employees were on strike across the country and that schools in Vukovar-Srijem, Karlovac and Zagreb counties would strike on Tuesday.

The circular strike, in its 12th day, will last until November 1, unionist Branimir Mihalinec said, without revealing what the unions would do after that.

The unions are sticking to their demand of an increase of the job complexity index to 1.406, claiming that even with the 6.12% base pay rise for all public servants announced by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, education workers would continue to lag behind other public servants.

On Sunday, Labour Minister Josip Aladrović said that, in response to the union demands, he would commission an analysts of job complexity indices in public service so that all workers were equitably evaluated.

Unionist Sanja Šprem said today the strike turnout was excellent.

Earlier today a conciliation attempt between the government and the Science and Higher Education Union failed, as a result of which faculties will hold a one-day strike on Thursday. The Union announced that it would strike at least one day every week.

Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said at a conference of the principals of secondary schools and dormitories in the southern coastal resort town of Tučepi on Monday that dialogue with teachers' unions should resume and that it was important to show respect to all teachers and school staff.

Asked to comment on the possibility that teachers would not be paid for the days spent on strike, Divjak said that such announcements should be avoided because teachers were exercising their constitutional right to fight for a better status, adding that it was better to make up for the classes lost during the strike than to resort to some drastic measures such as introducing compulsory work duties.

"It is imperative to show respect to those who are raising our children," the minister said.

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