A planned strike by the primary school teachers’ union Poed will go ahead as planned on Thursday largely in Paphos and Limassol.
At midday, teachers will protest outside the education ministry, Poed general secretary Apostolos Apostolides told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).
The cause for the strike is the thorny issue surrounding parliament’s approval of two bills overhauling the system appointing teachers to state schools which will now require examinations as opposed to the current system of appointments based on year of graduation.
A transition period of 10 years will be in place.
Poed says their concern lies with teachers hired as temps who now face unemployment. According to Apostolides, 300 teachers are negatively affected by this and in two years, may lose their jobs.
The strike will take place in around 120 primary schools in Limassol and Paphos and around the same number of pre-schools, Apostolides said. Teachers from Nicosia, Larnaca and Famagusta who did not participate in the previous strike on June 8 as they were organising school trips or end of year ceremonies will be participating on Thursday.
All families have been informed, Apostolides said
Charging that the ministry was trying to sway public opinion against them he said “the ministry insists we are against the new appointment system and reform – this is not our aim.”
Whatever opinions they had over the appointment system “has expired because it is now a law of the state.”
Poed’s issue lies with “side effects (of the bills) and particularly the plight a group of our colleagues face in their work.”
The union has requested that on Thursday, the ministry accepts to meet a representation from Poed who want answers to requests filed by teachers employed as temps requesting they receive open ended contracts provided they have been employed for 30 months or more.
The requests were filed to the ministry on January 27, Apostolides told CNA.