Monday, May 28, 2007

60 percent of schools and kindergartens on strike

Some 20 000 institutions, around 60 percent of Polish schools took part in a 2-hours-long nationwide warning strike today, Polish Teachers’ Union (ZNP) estimates.

The warning strike is to take place during the first two hours of classes. ZNP appeals to parents not to take their children to schools and kindergartens at that time.

During the strike some schools will be completely closed, in some only childcare activities will take place but no classes. Teachers can also express their support for the strike by wearing black t-shirts or black bows.

According to ZNP chairman Sławomir Broniarz, due to various hours of work the strike can beginn at 6,7 or 8 a.m. “At 10 o’clock the institutions should work normally,” he said.

“We talked to parents and explained them why we are going to protest. The talks revealed that they understand us” Anna Gajer from one of kindergartens in Warsaw said.

“We are aware of the fact that not everyone can leave their children with somebody in the morning, that is why every child brought into our kindergarten before 8 a.m. will find care,” she added.

ZNP demends an increase in education expenditures, 20 percent pay rises for teachers, maintaining the possibility of teachers’ early retirement on hitherto prevailing conditions untill 2011, embracing teachers born after 1969 by the bridging pension scheme and conducting a dialogue with the government not only under strike threat.