Cyprus Mail

Teachers to vote on Wednesday over strike action

Scene from the House committee meeting on Friday between the education minister, MPs and teaching unions that failed to resolve the ongoing dispute

Secondary education teachers will be in school on Monday to prepare for the new school year, but will abstain from extracurricular activities and hold a vote on Wednesday on whether to go on strike, unions said on Saturday.

As no solution in their spat with the government seems to be in sight, members of unions Oelmek and Oltek decided on Saturday to apply measures as regards extracurricular activities but will tend to their classrooms as normal pending a vote to strike.

“These are very specific measures … they mainly concern the extracurricular part,” Oelmek chairman Yiannos Socratous said.

On Wednesday, secondary education teachers will vote to authorise their unions to decide on industrial action.

Teachers and the government have been at loggerheads since July 4 when the cabinet decided to limit teaching exemption hours in a bid to put more teachers in classrooms without having to recruit.

To teachers, the cabinet’s “unilateral” action was a declaration of war and they have since rejected two compromise proposals tabled by President Nicos Anastasiades.

They say that only if the government withdraws the July 4 decisions, the “root of the problem” will they return to the negotiating table.

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