School Unions Announce Strike for October 10

By 1 October 2019

ZAGREB, October 1, 2019 - School union leaders on Tuesday announced strike action in elementary and secondary schools on October 10, stating that the government, two weeks from their last meeting, still has not responded to union demands for their job complexity index to be increased by 6%.

Unionists Sanja Šprem and Branimir Mihalinec handed over a notice to the government informing of the strike action in schools. "The strike will be held on October 10 and will continue until our demands are met, and unions will advise of the format of the strike the day before," Mihalinec said.

He underscored that the unions met with the government on September 5 and discussed a 6% increase of the job complexity index and that since then the government has avoided meeting with the unions.

Asked who in the government was stalling or refusing to meet with the unions, Mihalinec said that Finance Minister Zdravko Marić had to make calculations regarding the 6% increase and that Labour Minister Josip Aladrović was just a mediator, adding that it was unbelievable that the government had not responded yet.

Šprem said that the unions had discussed in detail the justification of their demands with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and that they believe the government was bluffing to see if the unions would back down. She added that the unions made it clear that they will not give up.

A conciliation procedure between the government and unions which is compulsory before conducting a strike will be held in the next five days.

"If we do not get any result during the conciliation stage, it will certainly come after pressure and the strike which will really last," Šprem said.

Minister of Science and Education Blaženka Divjak earlier in the day expressed disgruntlement with the way the situation was developing in talks with school unions, adding that she would continue the fight for a better status for teachers, which includes higher wages.

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