“We will not take part in the round table talks about Polish education," the head of the Polish Teachers' Union (ZNP) Sławomir Broniarz said on Tuesday, stressing that besides the ZNP, the Trade Unions Forum (FZZ) would not take part in the Friday meeting either.
In his opinion, Friday's government-led debate at the National Stadium in Warsaw will be conducted in the form of a "public hearing, where everyone will probably get a minute or so to comment on fundamental issues."
"We want this to be a serious expert debate. We will participate in a meeting, but in the one led by President Andrzej Duda, under the Social Dialogue Council,” the ZNP head said.
On Tuesday, April 16, President Andrzej Duda met with Dorota Gardias, leader of the Trade Unions Forum (FZZ), one of the teachers’ unions on strike, and the head of the Social Dialogue Council, a state mediation institution. The council hosts negotiations between teachers and the government.
President Duda said that an agreement with Ms Gardias was reached to extend the topics of the negotiations beyond just pay rises.
The President also proposed to host them in the Belweder Palace, a former residence of Polish presidents. The talks would also include parents, NGOs, opposition members and trade unionists.
Round table talks
Two days later, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called on the opposition and trade unions to participate in the discussion. He added that all groups interested in the future of Polish education were invited to round table talks.
The PM proposed that the round table talks should take place at the National Stadium in Warsaw and focus on four areas: students, teachers, the quality of education and modern schools that correspond with the standards of the second and then the third decade of the 21st century.