Cyprus Mail

Parents urge teachers to rethink strike action

The parents of primary school pupils urged teachers to rethink their decision to stage a strike on Wednesday over the working hours of substitute educators.

Parents said the teachers’ action, between 7.30am and 9am, will cause inconvenience to the families of 49,000 pupils.

Teacher union POED has asked parents to take their children to school at 9am, not the usual 7.30am.

Parents said the strike will also result in some pupils missing more than just the two hours as they will probably stay home the whole day for practical reasons.

The primary school parent confederation said the teachers’ displeasure was justified but there was still room for dialogue with the ministry.

POED decided to go on strike because the ministry changed the employment system for substitute teachers.

Up until last year, primary education substitutes were appointed under a full-time schedule since they took on the full duties of the teacher they replaced, POED said.

That policy has been changed and substitute teachers now covered only the teaching duties of the absent educator.

The Education Ministry expressed its regret over POED’s decision which will also affect children at state-run kindergartens.

In a written statement, the ministry said it had taken into account the observations of the auditor-general and the ombudswoman who had pointed out that teachers in primary schools were treated differently than their secondary education colleagues.

Parents urged officials to re-examine the matter using different criteria.

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