Budapest, March 7 (MTI) – Teachers’ trade union PDSZ has initiated talks between its strike committee and the government with the aim of reaching an agreement on addressing problems in Hungary’s education system.

The union has set an end-March deadline to reach agreement on education reforms. Teachers will hold a strike if the talks fail, said PDSZ head László Mendrey, adding that this may coincide with school-leaving exams starting in late spring.

Mendrey accused the government of failing to take the schooling crisis seriously and used talks to “delay” any meaningful response to the sector’s problems.

Among PDSZ demands are a reduction of burdens on students and teachers as well as an immediate pay rise. The union wants the government to restore institutional and economic autonomy to schools and to immediately suspend the teacher evaluation system currently in place. PDSZ also demands restoring the school-leaving age to 18.

Mendrey said PDSZ is not aiming to hamper other teacher union strike committees by holding talks with officials, but rather wants to use the negotiations to mount pressure on the government.

He PDSZ would send its demands and proposed schedule for negotiations to the human resources ministry on Tuesday.


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