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Friday 24.05.2019 | Name days: Marlēna, Ilvija, Ziedone
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Teachers demand from Latvia’s ministry specific amendments to regulations

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees sent a letter to Latvia’s Education and Science Ministry on Tuesday, 23 April. In it, representatives demand strict guarantees and specific amendments to regulations to ensure increase of wages for teachers in accordance with the schedule.

The council of the trade union decided on 17 April to organize and indefinite strike in September if the government fails to amend regulations on teachers’ wages by May.

If the government fails to find funding for increase of wages for teachers by 16 May to ensure compliance with the teachers’ wage growth schedule starting with September 2019 and no amendments are added to regulations, teachers will go on strike.

The strike will start on 2 September.

According to chairperson of the trade union Inga Vanaga, the decision regarding the strike was made with support from most members – only two members proposed holding a warning strike in May as well.

Vanaga said that if politicians fail to uphold their promise and do not amend regulations in May, the topic regarding review of the schedule could be brought up again during the strike in September. At the same time, a wide campaign will be organized to discourage people from voting in favour of Latvia’s ruling parties during the European Parliament elections.

Active discussions were held during the meeting of the trade union’s council. Members couldn’t decide between May and September. Teachers in all regions said they are prepared for reforms, but they stressed that reforms should be rational. «This is no longer a fight for EUR 40, because it is humiliating. This is about the principle – politicians must fulfil laws and uphold promises,» the trade union stresses.

Last week, the trade union’s council considered several possible variants for strikes. One of them provides for organizing a one-day or one-week strike, or an indefinite strike in September 2019. The other variant provides for organizing the strike in May. The third scenario includes two stages for the strike – a warning strike in May and a continuation of the strike in September if no improvements are accomplished.

The trade union reminds that during last week’s meeting of the National Council for Trilateral Cooperation participants discussed the topic regarding the action plan. It was expanded with a specific point regarding completion of the teachers’ wages schedule. The trade union believes the government has made the first step and the government action plan now includes the promise given during talks with Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees – start fulfilling the teachers’ pay increase schedule from 1 September 2019 onward.

As it is known, compliance with the teachers’ pay increase schedule – before September – is one of the demands put forward by the trade union in the topic regarding the possible strike. Vanaga stresses that the trade union is shocked over what the government’s action plan, considering coalition representatives previously promised to find necessary funding this year.

«How can coalition politicians mislead us like that? This is humiliating and disrespectful,» said Vanaga.


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