ZAGREB, November 29, 2019 – The lion’s share of education workers who took part in a vote turned down the government’s latest pay rise offer so the strike in the education system is continuing, union leaders said on Friday.
In a two-day referendum, 95.26% of the strikers in primary schools, 88.93% in secondary schools and 69% at faculties voted against the offer, reporters were told.
In primary schools, 31,670 workers voted as did 14,046 in secondary schools.
Therefore, said the Croatian Teachers Union, the Independent Union of Secondary School Employees and the Independent Union in Science and Higher Education, the general strike in primary and secondary schools and occasional strikes at faculties are continuing.
Earlier today, it was said that 88% of the strikers from the Preporod union had rejected the government’s offer, so they too are continuing the strike in 383 primary and secondary schools.
The rejected offer envisages a pay-rise for education workers in 2020 as well as a 6.12% base pay rise for all civil servants.
Independent Union of Secondary School Employees president Branimir Mihalinec said the results of the referendum showed that education workers would not bargain over wage supplements. “The refusal of the government’s offer means that education employees want to resolve the issue of their status through higher job complexity indices.”
He said the rejection represented strong support to the unions to continue to demand higher job complexity indices.
Croatian Teachers Union president Sanja Šprem said being underpaid was not the only reason for the rejection. “Education employees have a problem with unnecessary red tape, the hiring freeze, the system of anonymous complaints.”
Igor Radeka of the Independent Union in Science and Higher Education said the strike at faculties and science institutions would continue to be held once a week, the next one on December 5.
More news about the teachers’ strike can be found in the Politics section.