ZAGREB, December 3, 2019 – The agreement reached with the teachers unions is a good compromise that will ensure a cessation of the strike as of Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said after a meeting with union representatives on Monday.
“Schools will resume classes as of Tuesday. A compromise has been reached in the interests of children, pupils, parents, teachers and normal functioning of the education system,” the prime minister told a press conference.
The government and the unions have agreed an increase of the job complexity index of 3% as of December 1 this year, an additional 1% as of June 1, 2020 and a further 2% as of January 1, 2021.
In this way the unions have agreed to what was agreed through the basic collective agreement, namely the 2+2+2 percent increase, the increase of the Christmas bonus from 1,250 to 1,500 kuna, the increase of the holiday allowance from 1,250 to 1,500 kuna, the increase of a gift for children from 500 to 600 kuna, and the increase of severance pay by about 2,100 kuna, the PM said.
“A decree on job complexity indices is expected to be adopted at a cabinet meeting on Thursday,” Plenković announced, adding that the decree would regulate the status of secretaries, accountants, principals, lecturers and artistic assistants in higher education.
He said that the issue of non-teaching staff would be settled by an annex to the branch collective agreement which would be valid until December 2022.
Apart from entitlements, the agreement also provides for the adoption of an action plan against violence in schools, and the repeal of the possibility of filing anonymous reports against teachers by amending the Education Inspections Act.
Reiterating that the agreement could have been reached without a strike, Plenković announced an analysis of the entire wage system to ensure a sustainable system in the long term. “We are trying to be accommodating as much as we can. This government is a friend, first of all to taxpayers, because it is not running up debts for future generations like some previous governments.”
He said that the days spent on strike would be paid for. “If the strike is paid for, it is only fair that the compensation classes are not,” he added.
Plenković recalled what the government had offered the unions in the past weeks, noting that in the current year the government did not have additional funds to increase the indices as of September 1, as initially demanded by the unions.
“During the term of this government the total pay rise for the public and state administration sector will have been 18.3%, which is a consistent policy of this government to increase wages,” the prime minister said.
Asked if he regarded this as his personal defeat, Plenković said that this government was raising wages for everyone and should not be criticised for it.
More education news can be found in the Politics section.