News

2015.12.09 09:19

Teachers go on strike

Algirdas Acus2015.12.09 09:19

Thousands of teachers at hundreds of schools and kindergartens in Lithuania took part in a warning strike. Those teachers who participated in the protest did not give the first two classes and kindergarten teachers stopped work for several hours.

Thousands of teachers at hundreds of schools and kindergartens in Lithuania took part in a warning strike. Those teachers who participated in the protest did not give the first two classes and kindergarten teachers stopped work for several hours.

Trade unions say around 10,000 teachers from almost 400 educational establishments planned to join the protest.

Meanwhile, the Education and Science Ministry said on the eve of the strike that around 300 out of 2,300 kindergartens and schools would be involved in the strike, as around 35% of their staff plan to join it; around 5,800 (11%) of all teachers were going to take up the protest action, the Ministry said.

“We want that our wage coefficients would be returned to the pre-crisis level”, Aušra Gontienė, a teacher at one of Vilnius schools, told journalists during the strike.

Teachers do not believe that additional 10 million euros promised by the Government for education „will save the situation“.

Last week, Lithuania's ruling coalition agreed to satisfy some of teachers' requirements, and will assign additional 10 million euros funding, while Education and Science Ministry says over 100 million would be needed to satisfy teachers’ requirements to a full extent.

SHOTLIST

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

AUŠRA GONTIENĖ, English teacher at Vilnius Žvėrynas gymnasium:

We want that wage coefficients would be returned to the pre-crisis level. If we consider the overall wage, we are now short of around 600 Litas (174 Euros) in our monthly payment.

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

ELŽBIETA KAVALNIENĖ, English teacher at Vilnius Žvėrynas gymnasium:
Let's take an example. Among my pupils in the final grades no one considers to become a teacher. They only laugh at such perspective. It’s because attention to teachers is very low and there is no respect.
(Reporter asks if a raise of wage would motivate students to become a teacher.)
Well, this is the first incentive why people choose one or another profession.

Soundbite (Lithuanian)