Education and Science, Lithuania, Wages

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 20.09.2019, 19:40

Lithuanian teachers halt strike

BC, Vilnius, 21.12.2018.Print version
Members of the Lithuanian Education Employees Trade Union on Friday suspended their strike action started almost six weeks ago to protest against a new pay system and to demand higher wages, informed LETA/BNS.

The strike action was halted after Transport and Communications Minister Rokas Masiulis, who was appointed as caretaker education minister after Jurgita Petrauskiene was sacked in early December, had agreed to sign a decree explaining in more detail the new pay model in place since September. 

Teachers' trade unions complained that the new model gave school administrations too much flexibility in calculating teachers' workload and salaries. The changes will take effect next September. 

Masiulis has said recently that students will have to catch up with their schoolwork after the strike action ends, which means that strikers may be paid for extra working hours. 

The Lithuanian Education Employees Trade Union says it will look at what share of their pay lost because of the strike teachers will recover by taking on the extra workload and will cover the difference from the strike fund and membership fees.  

Andrius Navickas, the trade union's leader, has said he expects strikers to be compensated for their lost pay within a few months.

However, the trade union halted its strike action without reaching a deal on its demands that require additional funding, such as a 20 percent increase in wages and fewer children in classes. 

The government says it would cost an additional 300 mln euros to meet all of their demands, but the trade union dismisses the figure as exaggerated. 

The government has recently set up a working group on public sector financing to deal, among other things, with teachers' demand for higher wages.  

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