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Cyprus

Teaching unions to continue to fight together

Teachers protesting against changes in August

Teaching unions Poed, Oelmek and Oeltek held a meeting on Sunday to decide their way forward as the crisis in education hands over the start of the new school year on Monday.

The three unions decided they would continue to present a united front until a solution is found to their problems. According to Poed, the three unions have a common view on the problems.

They are expected to present their positions to the government and the three unions will have a further meeting on Wednesday afternoon to study any change in the position of the government.

While the three unions are expected announce further measures later on Sunday they have already withdrawn a threat to not hand out school books or separate first grade children into the relevant classes.

“The meeting once again confirmed the full match of views and ensured unity and joint co-operation in order to achieve both the short-term and the long-term goals of the teachers unions, in connection with the growing crisis in education, but also with the a requirement of the educational world for a qualitative upgrading of public schools for the benefit of, above all, children,” a Poed statement said according to Sigmalive.

A social media post on Saturday night confirmed that the union representing teachers in primary education, Poed, followed the lead of the other two unions by rejecting the latest compromise drawn up by their representatives and ministers on Thursday.

General secretary of Poed Charis Charalambous said in a post that the proposal could not be accepted as fundamental principles were still being violated.

“Poed is studying alternative ways and suggestions to break the deadlock by Monday at the latest,” he wrote. The unions have not ruled out submitting counter proposals.

Teachers unions for senior schools, Oelmek and Oeltek, had earlier on Saturday rejected the latest proposal.

Earlier in the day government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou had said that this is not the end but the start of discussions for upgrading schooling on the the island.

The crisis in education was sparked by a Council of Ministers decision on July 4 to change the number of free periods given to teachers in return for being responsible for other activities and to cut the reduction in teaching hours for those employed the longest.

Schools across the island are due to open Monday.

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