News

2019.10.17 16:00

Teachers threaten to strike, accusing Lithuanian government of breaking agreement

Modesta Gaučaitė, LRT.lt 2019.10.17 16:00

A Lithuanian teachers' union is calling for a strike, saying that the government is not living up to the promises laid out in a collective agreement.

The Lithuanian Education and Teachers' Union (LŠMPS) has voted on Thursday to call a strike, even though the exact date of the action has not been set.

The union's leader, Egidijus Milešinas, says the action has been provoked by the government's state budget proposal that he says includes only half of the provisions agreed on with the country's teachers.

“We received the budget proposal yesterday. What we have negotiated in the updated branch collective agreements require, in all, some 117 million euros, and the budget only gives 53 million, less than half,” Milešinas told LRT.lt. “This is why the [LŠMPS] council decided to call the strike.”

He added, however, that the union is in contact with the prime minister's office and recognizes that the budget proposal might be adjusted. The collective agreement provided for additional funding for pre-school education, educational assistants and pay rises for teachers.

“I have doubts about how social dialogue works here: why did we negotiate if they do not stick to the agreement?” Milešinas said.

Last year, another teachers' union called a strike over education workers' pay. The strike lasted over a month and led to the resignation of the then minister of education, Jurgita Petrauskienė.