ZAGREB, October 28, 2019 – The two striking unions of primary and secondary school teachers as well as the union of employees in the tertiary education and science sector on Monday walked out of negotiations with the government on higher wages after they did not get an answer about a timetable for talks on their demands.
The leader of the secondary school teachers’ union, Branimir Mihalinec, said that “the government still does not know” when negotiations on their demand for a higher job complexity index would be arranged.
Mihalinec said that their departure from today’s talks “is a symbolic, procedural gesture” since the sufficient number of union representatives of public-sector employees stayed to negotiate base pay.
“We have our representatives who will continue negotiations on base pay,” Mihalinec told the press after leaving the talks. He called on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković “to start solving the problems.”
The unionist also criticised a proposal by the Croatian People’s Party (HNS) about “compensation measures ” for education-sector employees, meaning the allocation of 160 million kuna annually for such measures until the elaboration of job complexity indices.
Last Friday, Education Minister Blaženka Divjak, who comes from the HNS ranks, called on all parties involved in the ongoing teachers’ strike to abandon their entrenched positions, both political and interest-based, and understand that a compromise was necessary to secure a wage rise for teachers. “We haven’t authorised the HNS to negotiate on our behalf,” said Mihalinec.
The leader of the primary school teachers’ union, Sanja Šprem, said that the government must think if ignoring the problem would be the right way to solve it.
The leader of the union of tertiary education workers, Igor Radeka, said that the union would stage a one-day strike on Wednesday.
More news about strikes can be found in the Business section.