Cyprus Mail

Deal on teaching hours remains elusive

Teachers unions and the education ministry held more talks on Thursday over proposed changes to the operation of public schools, but it was unclear whether they were any closer to a deal acceptable to both sides.

The Oelmek and Oltek trade unions both said that on Friday they would be presenting the state of play in the ongoing talks to their top committees.

Slight progress was made, in that the syndicates had received the information they had been demanding from the government regarding the latter’s proposed policy.

The lack of detailed information had been a major point of contention.

It’s understood that, once the unions finalise their own counter-proposals, a new round of deliberations will be held with the ministry, perhaps over the weekend.

The dispute began last month after unions were angered by a cabinet decision to abolish exemptions from teaching hours for trade-union activities and extra-curricular activities, and to scrap the current policy of fewer teaching hours for teachers according to their years of service.

The decision aimed at streamlining the use of teachers in state schools.

Teachers have threatened measures and pledged to disrupt the start of the new school year if this policy were implemented.


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