Budapest (MTI) – Piroska Galló, the head of teachers’ union PSZ, declared Wednesday’s nationwide day-long teacher strike a success.
The latest reports from the union’s county offices indicate that 24,960 public school teachers and workers participated in the strike, Galló said, adding that the number could grow by a few hundred people once the remaining reports come in.
She said a total of 1,185 schools took part in the protest, some of them with the entire faculty on strike.
The teachers’ strike, the largest in kind held in Hungary since 1995, was supported by four TU confederations, 26 unions and several civic organisations. Although “life in the country did not stop for five minutes” as planned, several partner organisations staged solidarity actions, she said.
Galló said it remains to be seen if the strike will be effective in pushing the government to meet teachers’ demands, noting that talks between the two sides will continue.
Regarding the strike committee’s demands, she said they did not accept the human resources ministry’s proposal to give teaching assistants 35,000 forint (EUR 113) extra bonuses in two instalments later this year, insisting that the government should offer at least 100,000 forints. The proposal that the bonuses would apply only to assistants employed by state school manager Klik is also unacceptable, Gallo added.
Gabriella Hajnal, head of the Union of Education Leaders, said their endeavours were entirely non-political and totally governed by the goal of raising the standards of education.