Cyprus Mail

Cabinet approves interim teaching agreement

Teachers protesting over the summer (Christos Theodorides)

Cabinet on Wednesday approved last week’s interim agreement between the government and teacher unions on the streamlining of teaching time.

According to deputy government spokesperson, Klelia Vasiliou, the cabinet ratified the agreement struck last week between teaching unions Poed, Oelmek and Oltek and the ministerial committee on education. The deal put an end to the more than two month-long dispute that led to a 48-hour teacher strike last month.

The committee and public school teachers agreed last week to immediately start talks on the various problems faced by state education.

The decision followed an interim agreement between the two sides to allow time for dialogue. No details were given on the agreement.

Unions were up in arms when the education ministry decided last July to reduce the free time previously afforded to senior educators as well as to union cadres to engage in trade-union activities during normal working hours.

With the change, certain union officials would have been forced to spend more time in the classroom.

The government also proposed a reduction in the teaching periods, which educators got depending on years of service from two to one. Under the current system for example, primary school teachers have their periods cut by two to 27 after 15 years, and to 25 after 21 years.

The government has since largely walked this back, bringing a revised proposal where the top officials from each trade union will be allotted a certain number of hours per week to engage in union work during normal working hours.




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