Hungarian teachers continue with plans to strike

February 16, 2016

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The Teachers’ Trade Union (PSZ) is preparing for a nationwide strike and is setting up an alternative public education roundtable, reports Hungarian news site hvg.hu.

Tuesday’s edition of Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet reported that PSZ announced Monday it is moving forward with strike plans, although it remains hopeful that the teachers’ strike committee can reach an agreement with the government.

PSZ president Mrs. István Galló confirmed on Monday that she would not take part in the government’s public education roundtable.

On Monday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced that the government would not increase the wages of teachers. In response, Galló said teachers do not want raises for themselves but rather for the teachers’ aides and technical and administrative assistants – around 50,000 employees – because their wages have remained unchanged since 2008.

Daily online Népszava.hu reported on Tuesday that the “I would teach” (“Tanítanék”) Movement, an umbrella grouping bringing together dissatisfied teachers from around the country, created the Civil Public Education Platform to take part in the Alternative Public Education Roundtable.

Around one hundred civil and professional organizations have been invited to participate.

“We would like to make it clear that the government is not invited to take part in the meetings, just as only members of a political party are invited to take part in parliamentary fraction meetings,” said Krisztina Ercse, the platform’s coordinator.