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Hungary’s Teachers’ Unions Prepare for Full-Day Strike

Péter Cseresnyés 2022.02.10.

Hungary’s two largest teachers’ unions, announced an indefinite teachers’ strike beginning from 16 March, RTL reports. The Democratic Trade Union of Teachers (PDSZ) and the Teachers’ Union (PSZ) have already agreed on the minimum services they must provide, and will discuss their proposal with government representatives on Friday.

Erzsébet Nagy, a member of the PDSZ national executive committee, told RTL that the agreement is necessary so that they do not have to turn to the court. But if the unions cannot reach an agreement with the Orbán government, they will have to, because they do not want to organize an indefinite strike without a binding court decision.

“We want to ensure that wherever a large number of teachers go on strike, they can hold a noticeable, closed-door demonstration, while having to provide child supervision only in certain institutions,” Nagy added.

This was simply not possible during the last teachers’ strike at the end of January, when there was only a two-hour stoppage, without the possibility of transporting the children to and from the supervising institutions.

The demands of the Democratic Trade Union of Teachers and the Teachers’ Union:

  • Settlement of the payment conditions of teachers and non-teaching staff.
  • Reduction of the workload.
  • Change of the regulation on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination so as to be able to take back teachers whose replacement is impossible in the current situation.

Hungarian teachers last held a two-hour warning strike on 31 January, making the same demands to the government as they are now. At the time, the Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI), which is responsible for public education, condemned the action in a statement, calling it illegal.

Teachers' Warning Strike Concludes in Hungary with More Than 20,000 Taking Part
Teachers' Warning Strike Concludes in Hungary with More Than 20,000 Taking Part

"We have nothing to be ashamed of, we can be proud of the teachers because they have shown our children how to stand up for a common cause," said Zsuzsa Szabó, president of the PSZ, discussing the preliminary results.Continue reading

On Tuesday, the EMMI issued another statement emphasizing that from January, teachers’ salaries would be raised by another 10 percent, two and a half times compared to 2010, and promised a further major pay rise in 2023.

Featured photo illustration by János Vajda/MTI 


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