Teachers accepted the proposal of Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris for a dialogue on Tuesday, despite holding a strike in the afternoon.
Teachers working in the afternoon at all day schools and those taking state afternoon lessons for high school students (KIE) have demanded that the government recognise these teaching hours and they be given year round positions rather than working on contracts. Working on contracts, they said, means that they have no unemployment benefits to fall back on during the four months or so each year they are not working.
The KIE strike started at 2pm on Tuesday and lasted until 7:30pm. At all-day schools and nurseries the strike began at 1pm and lasted until 4pm.
Hambiaouris called for a dialogue to begin with the teachers but made no reference to changing their employment status. “We will find solutions. It is not all black and white,” Hambiaouris said.
However, the minister warned the teachers that the government would look for other teachers, possibly from the private sector if they continued their measures, adding that the ministry would not allow them to make “victims of themselves.”
Teachers said they would enter a dialogue with the ministry but that they were waiting to see what better payment proposals would be made. They also told CyBC that some of them had received threats from their employers, who told them their contracts would be terminated if they went on strike.