Schools to close again this week

Primary and nursery school teachers are due to meet with Education Minister Marietta Giannakou today in the hope of resolving a pay dispute that has led to the educators deciding to continue their strike. The executive council of teachers’ unions met in Athens on Saturday and decided, by seven votes to 11, to strike for the second consecutive week due to the government’s refusal to grant them a pay rise. The teachers are demanding that the starting salary for their profession begin at 1,400 euros per month rather than 950 euros. Dimitris Bratis, the head of the teachers’ union, said that the strike would continue unless Giannakou made some acceptable proposals at Monday’s meeting. Teachers taking part in the strike have had their pay suspended. Bratis has suggested that this money be given to schools to cover their operating costs. Giannakou said on Saturday that the government has done all it can to satisfy the teachers’ needs and has already agreed to pay teachers a monthly benefit of 103 euros from January.