Consultations between teaching unions and the education ministry on the streamlining of state schools are expected to wrap up within the weekend or Monday the latest, stakeholders said on Friday.
The dialogue, launched on Wednesday on the initiative of President, Nicos Anastasiades, was expected to last a week, although the government had said that it can go on for as long as it takes.
After an eventful first meeting on Wednesday, when unions refused to sit at the negotiating table with organised parents in the room, unions held a joint meeting on Friday in which they have agreed to submit their proposals in a joint letter to the ministry.
The letter will have three sections concerning primary, secondary and technical education.
The head of Oltek union of technical education, Panayiotis Lysandrou, said that they expect the dialogue to be completed within the weekend or Monday the latest so as to have enough time “for the smooth staffing of schools.”
He said that unions agreed that they will not make public their proposals.
The talks are meant to ensure a smooth start of the school year after the summer holidays. The unions said that they would decide, depending on the result of the dialogue, whether to carry on with strike measures they had announced.
At issue is the government’s decision to end the generous reduction in teaching hours according to length of service and other responsibilities. While many countries have a similar system, Cyprus’ is particularly generous.