Schools closed as unions hold one-day strike over pay

Some schools in the Czech Republic are closed on Wednesday while others are offering only partial services due to a one-day strike. Union leaders called the action after the government rejected their demand of a 10-percent rise next year in basic salaries for teachers and others working in the schools sector.

The unions said on Monday that around 6,000 schools would take part, which would be over half the entire number in the country.

The government offered teachers an 8-percent pay rise from January, with 2 percent more to be at the discretion of principals.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Education Minister Robert Plaga (ANO) described the strike as a debacle for the trade unions. According to him there is no mass support for the strike and that many teachers had joined in the action not because of the trade unions’ demands, but because they want to see an increase in the education budget.

Meanwhile, trade unionists say that in spring the government had promised a pay increase of 15 percent.

Author: Ian Willoughby