Little progress on the dispute which is keeping many Croatian pupils away from the classroom.
The leaders of the teachers’ unions Sanja Šprem and Branimir Mihalinec will meet today with the education minister Vedran Mornar, but the strike in schools is still continuing, reports Vecernji List on September 29, 2015. The minister is expected to give the unions a written guarantee that the salaries in schools will be increased after the elections. “We’ll sit down and talk, and we will try to offer them something, to find a compromise”, said Mornar yesterday after unsuccessful meeting with the unions. He added that the government will have a new offer for the trade unions today.
“The union demands, which is an increase of salaries by 4 percent for everybody, is not fair towards the older workers in schools and some other classes of employees. We will negotiate about a fairer model, but we cannot announce any specific numbers. Everything that we will offer will be applied after the elections, when the new government takes over. I will give them a written guarantee”, said the minister.
In anticipation of an agreement, the teachers are continuing their strike, but the number of teachers who are not working has decreased yesterday. Unions claim that in some schools the principals were making pressure on teachers, and some even threatened them they will be fired if they continue with the strike.
President of the Trade Union of Croatian Teachers Sanja Šprem said that in some schools policemen were making lists of teachers who were in strike. According to her data, more than 58 percent of employees were on strike. The Revival Union said yesterday that 32.54 percent of their members were on strike.
Even though prime minister Zoran Milanović said the strike will be paid to teachers, the data of the Education Ministry confirm that the number of strikers is declining. According to the Ministry, nearly 43 percent of employees in elementary school and slightly more than 38 percent of employees in secondary schools were in strike.
The ombudsman for children Ivana Milas Klarić did not challenge the teachers’ right to strike, but has warned that the interests of children must be the primary consideration. “The long-term interests of the children are to have a right to quality education”, replied the trade unionists.