State school teachers are mulling strike action after the Christmas holidays in protest at an Education Ministry decision that forces them to stay at work until the end of school, even if they have finished their own teaching assignments. The decision, published last month, will increase school efficiency, Deputy Education Minister Nikolaos Gesoulis told Kathimerini yesterday. «I am not trying to hold teachers hostage, but I need their cooperation in order to help with the drive to upgrade our schools, which started this year.» But the teachers’ union (OLME) complained that the new measure gives principals extended powers while weakening the decision-making potential of teachers who, until now, made decisions on assigning non-teaching duties together. «Now, principals will be able to allot work at their discretion and keep teachers in captivity until the end of school,» OLME board member Grigoris Kalomiris argued. The union will meet on Tuesday to debate strike action after the holidays.