Budapest, February 12 (MTI) – A teachers’ strike committee met ministry representatives on Friday for talks, but no agreement was reached, the head of the teachers’ union PSZ told a press conference. The state secretary at the human resources ministry said the government is open to resolve issues through talks and repeated calls for unions to attend ongoing negotiations in the framework of the public education roundtable.
Piroska Galló, head of PSZ, one of the two biggest teachers’ unions, said teachers had put 25 points on the table which were discussed, but sides were apart. She said it was regrettable that HR Minister Zoltán Balog could not attend the talks.
Gabriella Hajnal, head of the union OVSZ, said they had been promised written proposals by next week and József Tóth, head of MKSZSZ, said teachers expected it would be easiest to make progress on “employment issues”.
State Secretary Bence Rétvári said Balog could not attend due to his involvement in the meeting of lawmakers of ruling parties in Lillafured, northeastern Hungary. He added that the government acknowledged most of the issues contained in teachers’ 25 points, and half of them could be put on the agenda very soon, while the rest could be scheduled next year. He added that the main differences in opinion were over the operation of schools, and that the government maintained that this should be a state obligation, while unions believe operation by the state should be an optional choice for schools.
Teachers’ representatives met government officials to discuss problems in public education on Thursday; the PSZ trade union stayed away.
Teachers’ unions are organising a demonstration in front of parliament on Saturday at 11am.