With university entrance exams in full swing this week, the union representing secondary school teachers, OLME, will skip Wednesday’s nationwide strike by public sector workers.
The decision was taken on Tuesday by ADEDY, the umbrella union representing all public sector workers, after it approved a request from OLME to be exempted from the general strike, which was called to protest labor reforms brought to Parliament by the center-right government.
ADEDY also granted an exemption to Education Ministry employees involved in the exam process.
The statement comes shortly after Education Minister Niki Kerameus took legal action in order to exclude the teachers and administrative employees of the Education Ministry from the strike, arguing that it would interfere with the nationwide exams, which determine which high school seniors get into a public university.
The fact that ADEDY’s strike mobilization coincided with the national exams had alarmed OLME, whose board of directors had informed and requested the exemption of teachers last week, as the president of the federation, Theodoros Tsouchlos, informed Kathimerini.
In filing its legal action, the Education Ministry said in a statement that “the right to strike is fully respected and guaranteed but it cannot and must not jeopardize crucial exams for the future of more than 100,000 candidates.”
It noted that it would affect teachers of each branch and category participating in the process, civil servants serving in the Education Ministry, but also employees of public transport (e.g. buses, trains, ships) during the morning hours when candidates, supervisors and other contributors need to get to examination centers.