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Primary teachers declare work stoppage

Primary schools reopened on Monday

Primary teachers’ union Poed announced on Thursday that its members will go on a warning work stoppage on September 21 over the status of newly appointed teachers.

The union said in an announcement that following a board decision, all its members will go on a “warning work stoppage” at 12pm on September 21.

Poed justified their decision citing delays and inadequacies in the staffing of schools. “Problems continue three weeks after the new school year began,” it said. Schools opened on Monday but staff returned to school two weeks earlier.

The union said it “found unacceptable the cabinet’s decision to cover the real educational needs, which the education ministry itself recognised, with the illegal innovation of filling permanent needs through reserve teachers rather than providing annual contracts as was the practice until today, thus hurting public schools”.

Reserve teachers are usually called in to fill in for their colleagues who might be away for a short and long periods of time. They can be employed for as little as a day.

Poed had warned of possible strike action since the end of last school citing staffing problems. The union met with Education Minister Costas Kadis on Monday, and had said they would try and reverse the decision to use reserve teachers.

The House plenary last week approved the amendment of the 2016 finance law to allow the recruitment of 103 teachers, as per the education ministry’s request to help meet staffing needs in primary and secondary education. This will increase the number of teachers from 11,967 to 12,070 in 2016.

 

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