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2019.11.29 15:00

Lithuanian education minister pledges to resign if no deal is reached over teachers' demands

Lithuanian Education Minister Algirdas Monkevičius says he is ready to resign if he fails to reach an agreement with teachers on their demands to increase funding.

Teachers staged a two-hour warning strike on Thursday, demanding more funding for education.

Read more: Teachers across Lithuania stage 2-hour warning strike

“If I fail to reach this agreement, I am ready to accept responsibility for that and resign, if necessary,” the minister told journalists on Friday after a joint meeting of an industrial dispute commission.

The minister, representatives from teachers' unions, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour discussed possibilities to meet teachers' requirements.

Teachers' unions demand that the government stick to the collective agreement signed two years ago to allocate addition 117 million euros for education in 2020.

The current budget bill, however, includes only slightly over 55 million euros in additional funding.

Minister Monkevičius says he hopes he and Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis will be able to give “good news” to teachers on Monday.

“The government is due to make decisions on Monday,” Monkevičius said, adding that the decisions will take a form of a government resolution for amending the budget bill.

Monkevičius also said that he agreed during Friday's meeting with the trade unions to raise salaries 10 percent for all teachers and university lecturers as of next September, and also to plan 10-percent increases every year.

Some teachers, kindergarten staff and higher school lecturers took part in a warning strike on Thursday over insufficient funding.