Government criticises unions for staying away from education roundtable
Budapest, February 2 (MTI) – Bence Rétvári, state secretary at the human resources ministry, on Tuesday voiced incomprehension at the two largest teachers’ trade unions boycotting an upcoming public education roundtable.
Rétvári told public news television M1 that “the government is always ready for dialogue” and added that it was the trade unions that had earlier called for such a forum.
The state secretary insisted that his ministry had recently consulted “over 100 schools” and that “a number of proposals” to solve problems have been raised.
The human resources ministry has called the roundtable for next week, to discuss public education problems with unions, teachers, parents and students.
On Monday, teachers’ unions PSZ and PDSZ called for a boycott of the conference, the former organisation also announcing a demonstration in Budapest on February 13.
The opposition Együtt party said that the government should stop intimidating teachers and start focusing on their problems and demands.
Egyutt’s Szabolcs Szabo said in a statement that Rétvári and Zoltán Balog, the human resources minister, “are playing a petty political game of divisions”, and demanded “true” consultations. Szabo also voiced his party’s support for unfolding nationwide protests.