Teachers' unions have declared a strike alert over the coalition’s
failure to agree on a wage hike for people working in the education sector.
The parties of the ruling coalition agreed on Monday that teachers should get a wage increase, but failed to agree on how much it should be.
Trade unions are pushing for a 15 percent wage increase for teachers and a 10 percent increase for non-teaching staff.
According to the head of the umbrella trade union organization Josefa Středula other unions may join the strike alert.
The average wage in the Czech Republic grew by 7.6 percent to 29, 346
crowns in the second quarter, according to data released by the Czech
Minus inflation the growth is 5.3 percent which is the fastest wage growth
registered in the last ten years.
According to analysts this reflects the exceptionally healthy state of the economy and low unemployment rate. They predict it will lead the central bank to effect another hike in interest rates in September.
All political parties with a realistic chance according to polls of clinching mandates in the lower house in the upcoming election in October have promised pay raises for teachers, according to a new study conducted by the IDEA think-tank of the Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Suggested increases range from 18 to as much as 52 percent, the author of the study, economist Daniel Münich, confirmed. The commitment to improving pay for Czech teachers is broader than in the past, he said, but none of the parties, he made clear, discussed where the additional funds would come from. The study addressed not only wage increases but also six other questions pertaining to the teaching profession.
The teachers’ unions have said they will call a strike alert if the
coaltion government council does not agree to meet their demands for higher
pay next Monday; the unions are seeking pay rise of 15 percent for
educators and 10 percent for non-teaching staff. The unions made the
announcement during a demonstration at Prague’s Bethlehem Chapel on
Friday, ahead of the new school year.
The Czech Rectors Conference is considering an extraordinary meeting on September 6, to consider possible steps such as delaying the start of the semester at universities if higher wages are not introduced.
The teachers’ unions have said they do not want to threaten strike action
as long as negotiations continue. Instead, representatives will repeat
their demands at a demonstration planned at Prague’s Bethlehem Chapel on
the first day of the academic year, September 1.
Union and university representatives outlined the situation at a press conference Monday; the unions are seeking a pay rise of 15 percent for teachers and 10 percent for non-teaching staff. University representatives are seeking a 4.5 billion crown increase in the annual budget compared to last year.
The number of employers offering part time jobs is increasing, according to a survey carried out by BDO, one of the world’s largest accountancy networks. At the moment, nearly every second large firm in the Czech Republic offers the option of part-time work. The Czech Republic has for a long-time had one of the lowest levels of part-time work in the EU. According to the Czech Statistical Office, there are currently 5.5 percent of Czechs working part-time.
Government and union representatives are due to meet on Monday to discuss wage growth. The union umbrella organization ČMKOS is calling on the government to boost wages for teachers by 15 percent as of November and 10 percent for other public servants. The plan has the backing of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. The Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs has prepared three variants, including the one sought by labour leaders.