Over 1,600 Czech schools joined the national strike on December 8. Teachers decided to go on strike in protest against new payment system. According to the preliminary estimates, the strike involved more than 25 thousand teachers.
The bulk of the striker schools are located in Moravia. In the Czech capital of Prague only 40 schools joined the strike. According to the Czech media, among the strikers are kindergarten, primary and special school teachers.
Representatives of the national educational institutions have already commented on the current strike. The Minister of Education of the Czech Republic Josef Dobes called teachers' protests "tragicomic" and noted that the morning school closures would affect mostly parents’ interests, reported praguemonitor.com.
The strike now occupied about 600 schools and 6,000 teachers in South Moravia. 250 schools in the Moravian-Silesian region were closed because of strikes. In total 5200 teachers in the region are protesting against the new regulations. About 1,000 educational institutions published declarations in support of the strikers and continued normal work.
The Czech government has recently discussed new teachers' payment regulations. In particular, the authorities intend to change the terms of payment and cancel bonuses for long service. In this regard senior teaching staff is concerned that the level of their wages will fall to preliminary teachers’ level. At present, the young teacher’s salary in the Czech Republic is about 20 000 krons (about $1050).
Czech Ministry of Education representatives noted that the new system will not be introduced on the whole territory. The terms of payment will be changed directly by the school principals.
It should be noted that teachers' unions in the Czech Republic only discussed the possibility of supporting the strike, but did not dare to take part in it. One of the reasons may be government's decision to lift teachers' salaries in 2012. The amount of support will be from 500 to 1500 CZK.
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