Professors in higher education institutions stopped striking on Thursday, while secondary school teachers are determined to continue industrial action on Friday, and will decide on their next steps on Monday, union leaders announced on Thursday.
Teachers started striking last Friday demanding a 4% pay rise. Higher education union members decided at a referendum to end the strike, and union leader Vilim Ribic explained that 43% of the union’s members had been in favour of continuing the strike in tertiary education, which was short of majority.
Despite a declining turnout in the industrial action, secondary school teachers will continue their strike on Friday. The head of secondary school teachers’ union, Branimir Mihalinec, said that the strike would continue on Friday and that union members would then decide whether to continue striking on Monday too.
The leadership of secondary school unions on Thursday sent Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic a proposed appendix to a Branch Collective Agreement which clearly indicates, Mihalinec said “that we do not intend to burden the 2016 budget, we do not intend to burden the temporary budget for the first three months of 2016 but we expect a wage increase in April when the incoming government will have adopted the 2016 budget.”
Mihalinec did not want to comment on the percentage of teachers still striking, adding that he was no longer collecting this data, however, the Education Ministry on Thursday reported that about 25% teachers in secondary schools, including dorms, were striking, which was the lowest turnout since the strike started.
Primary school teachers ended their strike on Wednesday. (Hina)