Teachers in Slovakia are planning a series of escalating strikes beginning next week on September 13th. They are figthing for improved salaries both for themselves and other education workers and more money for education.
The teachers plan to strike for one lesson to begin with, escalating to two later in the month and more if their demands are not met, culminating in an all out strike if necessary. The move is particularly brave given that earlier this year teachers suffered intimidation and threats of the sack from management when they went on strike over the same issue.
Like the previous strike this one is organised by the Initiative of Slovak Teachers (ISU). There was much support for the earlier strike, including many initiatives by parents - taking part in protests and wearing green ribbons in solidarity. They also organised 'Children's Fridays' to allow the teachers to continue with their strike.
Teachers in the country are paid only 60% of other graduate salaries and way below the OECD average, making it diffictult to recruit staff. This is despite the fact that the International Monetary Fund classifies the country as one of Europe's 'stronger economies.' Significantly though it is still encouraging the government to achieve 'spending efficiencies', economist-speak for 'cuts.'