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OELMEK accepts teacher appointments proposal

State secondary school teachers’ union OELMEK on Thursday said an Education Ministry proposal attempting to settle differences regarding teacher appointments was a step in the right direction, and that it would begin implementing it.

This outcome should see the new school term opening smoothly.

The announcement was something of a surprise as it came the day after a, by all accounts, failed meeting between union representatives and Education Minister Costas Kadis.

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The meeting was held in the wake of new appointment procedures which have left 39 long-serving secondary school teachers out of work.

Because they had been hired as substitutes even though they went to spend 30 months or more teaching at state schools, the teachers have not been awarded permanent places ahead of the policy change.

An appointment list of prospective teachers featuring thousands of names is gradually being phased out in favour of a system that sees prospective educators sitting exams and also held up to other criteria before being given a coveted place teaching at state schools.

The Wednesday meeting with Minister Costas Kadis appeared to have ended without result but an OELMEK statement yesterday said that, following an emergency meeting of its Central Committee, its board had decided a proposal put forward by the ministry during their pow-wow had been “a step in the right direction”.

OELMEK said that its board had therefore decided to instruct its Secretariat to move ahead with implementing the ministry’s proposal.

The teachers had previously warned that some schools will not open after the summer holidays in September if their demands to have all 39 hired were not met.

OELMEK head Yiannos Socratous, leaving the talks on Wednesday, had indicated the ministry had only agreed to give nine of the 39 teachers permanent places.

State primary school union POED and Technical School teacher union OLTEK are also in the middle of similar talks with the Education Ministry.

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