School sit-ins double as teachers mull action

As secondary school teachers continued with an extended strike Thursday, protesting the government’s overhaul of the civil service, the number of student sit-ins at schools across the country doubled in signs that the educators’ actions could be gathering momentum.

Ten schools in the regions of Achaia, Ilia and Aetaloacarnania were reported to have been occupied by pupils Thursday, in addition to at least 10 in the broader Attica area, where sit-ins have mushroomed since Monday, when teachers launched their five-day walkout.

Representatives of local teachers’ unions across the country are to converge in Athens Friday to discuss whether to extend their action with further rolling five-day strikes. Local union meetings have suggested that teachers are in favor of industrial action continuing but attendance at the sessions has been low, with only 10 to 20 percent of members attending, according to sources.

A dispute is also burgeoning between teachers of DAKE, the union aligned with conservative New Democracy, and SYNEK, the equivalent for teachers affiliated with the main leftist opposition SYRIZA. DAKE Thursday accused SYNEK of exploiting pupils in a bid to make political gains.