ZAGREB, October 30, 2019 – The independent union in science and higher education informed a news conference on Tuesday that it would again stage a nationwide day-long strike at universities, while two striking unions of primary and secondary school teachers said at their news conference that their rotating strike would continue in Split and Virovitica counties.
Igor Radeka of the independent union in science and higher education said that they would again strike specifically for three categories of employees in the science and higher education system – non-teaching staff who account for about 40% of employees at universities; lecturers of whom there are about 700 to 800; and about a score of artistic assistants at universities.
They staged the first industrial action of this kind last Thursday.
Radeka said today that the union expected again a high turnover, although an exact data had been provided for the turnout at the 24 October strike. He also said that in the event that the government diced not to pay striking employees for these days of industrial action, the union had enough funds to compensate strikers.
Also this union said that media reports about the average monthly take-home pay for teachers standing at 7,200 kuna was misinformation.
The union provided different figures of pre-tax monthly salaries for teachers, explaining that a take-home pay depended on supplements, tax breaks and other factors, including a place of residence of the salary recipient, years of service and so on.
For instance, a single person, who lives in Zagreb, and just starts working as a teacher in a school is paid 5,998 kuna, while the pre-tax pay is approximately 8,500 kuna.
Media reports on Monday about monthly wages of leaders of education sector employees being higher than the monthly salary of the country’s Prime Minister seem to anger the union leaders, however, they declined to specify the ir monthly take home pay.
When asked today about this topic, Vilim Ribić of the independent union in science and higher education replied: “What do I have to confess about my salary? To whom I am supposed (to confess)? I have been earning my salaries for 30 years in an honest manner.”
“Am I a criminal,” Ribić said at a news conference and added that the trade unions would make public the wages of their leaders when media outlets publish salaries of their chief editors.
Branimir Mihalinec of the striking union of secondary school teachers, today said that his wage was “a business secret”.
He criticised media for commenting on union leaders’ salaries in a bid to divert attention from “the central topic”.
More news about the strikes can be found in the Politics section.