Education Unions Going on General Strike until Demands Are Met

By 19 November 2019

ZAGREB, November 19, 2019 - The Preporod union said on Tuesday 94% of teachers in 381 primary and secondary schools were against the government's proposal to raise the job complexity index by 2% for all school employees as of 1 July 2020, and that 91% were for continuing the general strike until their demands are met.

Nearly 12,000 teachers took part in a poll conducted on November 13 and 14.

The Croatian Teachers Union and the Independent Union of Secondary School Employees said last night they were embarking on a general strike until their demands for a 6.11% increase of the job complexity index was met.

Today, on its 27th day, the strike is being held in all primary and secondary schools across the country.

Labour Minister Josip Aladrović said on Tuesday the continuation of the strike in education did not mean the government would agree to everything the unions demand, and that the government continued not to see a reason for the strike but that it was not considering requesting a court injunction for now.

"We have made moves which we think meet the demands, only in a different way," Aladrović said at the 6th assembly of the NSH union federation.

He told the education unions which, after 26 days of a rotating strike, announced a general one as of today until their demands are met, that the government saw no reason for the strike as the salaries of education workers would certainly increase next year.

On Thursday, we are continuing negotiations on the base pay with all public servants, and we expect the striking education unions to come to the negotiations, he said.

He added, however, that the negotiations would be on topics defined by the basic collective agreement, while the job complexity index, for which the education unions demand a 6.11% rise, could only be "talked about, not negotiated."

Earlier today, Independent Union of Secondary School Employees president Branimir Mihalinec announced the start of a general strike in all primary and secondary schools until the union demands were met.

"There is no more rotating strike, only an all-out strike. All counties, all of Croatia will be on strike until the union demands are met," he told reporters. "This is new, strong pressure on the government to start resolving the problems together with the unions."

More news about the strike can be found in the Politics section.