Nationwide teachers’ strike looms

A nationwide teachers’ strike has been announced by the head of the Polish Teachers’ Union (ZNP) Sławomir Broniarz after a meeting of the general board of the union.

Earlier on Thursday, the general board of ZNP met with the Education Minister Anna Zalewska, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement, as the solutions offered by the Ministry of National Education (MEN) did not meet the expectations of the union.

"In view of the fact that the Education Minister did not present any concrete offer to improve the financial situation of teachers, the General Board of the Polish Teachers’ Union, after a long, emotional discussion, adopted a resolution, which shows that on January 10 we will start the procedure aimed at initiating an industrial action," Mr Broniarz said.

He explained that “this is the beginning of the implementation of the provisions of the act on industrial actions,” which oblige all structures of the union to submit a request to employers by February 8, 2019, on increasing the base salary of education staff by PLN 1000 (EUR 232).

Mr Broniarz informed that the schedule and the date of the protest were yet to be decided. He stressed that the date of launching the strike would be kept secret "as long as possible" due to the actions of municipal authorities and education supervisors aimed at intimidating teachers with disciplinary proceedings.

The head of ZNP did not exclude launching the strike at the time of baccalaureate, gymnasium exams or at the end of the eighth grade, stating that this period was "considered very seriously.”

In the same time, Mr Broniarz assured that schools and kindergartens would be informed in advance about potential actions, so that they would be prepared for such an such eventuality.