The Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI) responded to the announcement of a warning strike by the Teachers’ Union (PSZ) and the Democratic Union of Teachers (PDSZ) on January 31.
Discussions took place between the two main teachers’ unions and the government’s deputy state secretary for public education. The main topics were the end of compulsory vaccination for teachers and salaries. But they did not find common ground; therefore, the unions called for a warning strike. As they said, they “lacked patience”. Zsuzsa Szabó, president of the PSZ teachers’ union, said they “believed that education issues could be resolved at the negotiating table, but now we see that we need to take a much more serious step.”
In response to the teacher’s announcement, EMMI wrote in its statement:
It is clear that the teachers’ strikes announced for January and March are a leftist campaign.
According to the EMMI, “with each electoral campaign, the left pulls the strings of the teachers’ unions and pushes them to take political action”. The ministry said thousands of teachers had lost their jobs under the left-wing government, but “unions under the influence of the Gyurcsány party” have now “announced a strike, claiming that after the full increase program teacher salaries, a further 10% increase in teachers “salaries will take effect in January, followed by another salary increase in 2023.” The EMMI said union leaders “have called for the postponement of the ‘January salary increase and also rejected the government’s offer of a cafeteria allowance of 200,000 forints, which shows that they are not seeking a deal. “According to the ministry, teachers are not either consistent on the issue of vaccination.
The EMMI also does not accept the proposal to have a daycare on one site per school district in the event of a strike, as it considers it to be an epidemiological concern. “In addition, in our opinion, the right to education is a fundamental right that would be seriously violated by a complete suspension of education,” the statement continued.
The ministry said talks could resume on Jan.12.
Featured photo: Minister of Human Resources Miklós Kásler. Photo by Lajos Soós / MTI