Week of strikes to start with rolling teacher walkouts
Secondary school teachers are to walk off the job Monday in what promises to be the first in a series of five-day rolling strikes called by their union, OLME, to protest forced transfers and dismissals in the civil service that the government has pledged to the troika.
Staff at social security funds and universities are to join the action.
OLME failed to convince primary school teachers to join the rolling strikes but the latter are expected to join a 48-hour walkout by the civil servants’ union ADEDY starting Wednesday. Teachers remain divided over OLME’s call to action but sources said the union would be satisfied with a 30 to 40 percent rate of participation. This is expected to rise on Wednesday as teachers on both the primary and secondary level are to join ADEDY’s strike.
In comments to Kathimerini, Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos said the government had done everything possible to ensure that teachers inducted into a troika-imposed mobility scheme were transferred to other jobs in the civil service. The key goal is for schools to remain open, he said.
OLME President Themis Kotsyfakis denied that the main opposition SYRIZA is behind the teachers’ action though the union’s leadership is known to be allied with the leftists. SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras fueled sharp criticism last week after suggesting that schoolchildren show their support to protesting teachers.