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Cyprus Education

Primary education teachers announce strike

Primary teachers’ union Poed announced on Tuesday that its members in certain districts will be staging an all-day strike on Thursday while those in other areas will go on a strike next week.

The union is staging industrial action to protest the approval by parliament of two bills overhauling the system of appointing teachers to state schools.

In a statement on Tuesday, Poed said its members in Nicosia, Larnaca, and Famagusta will be striking on Thursday, while those in Limassol and Paphos will walk out next Thursday, June 15.

Poed said it was protesting the government’s policy on education, which resulted in a large number of educators on a contract for up to 10 years being at risk of losing their job.

The union accused the ministry of violating European court decisions by not recognizing its obligation to change their term of employment to indefinite, in line with the rest of the public sector.

Approved on Friday, the new regulations replace the current regime, by which university graduates are appointed on the basis of graduation year, with annual exams-based appointments.

They include a 10-year transition period, during which both systems will operate, with varying weighted percentages of appointments from each, progressively eliminating the current system.

Per the new regulations, which fleshed out a law passed in 2015 laying down the reform’s principles, the first examinations for appointment to all state schools – pre-primary schools, primary schools, high-schools, and technical schools – will be held in October and November 2017.

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