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Teachers expected to announce new strike action

State primary school teachers union Poed is on Friday expected to announce new strike action.

The union’s board decided to take action during a Thursday meeting but said the type of action would be announced on Friday. Media sources, however, reported the action would likely entail rolling work stoppages affecting a different district every Wednesday and seeing state primary schools and kindergartens starting an hour later than usual.

The reports suggest this would mean parents in Nicosia for example would have to take their children to school at 8.30am instead of 7.30am on the Wednesday one week, parents in Limassol having to do the same on the Wednesday of the following week, and so on.

Poed had last month said it would no longer negotiate with Education Minister Costas Kadis and will enter into new strike action unless President Nicos Anastasiades intervenes in their favour before October 12. It is understood that this has not occurred.

At the time, union head Filios Fylaktou said the strike action would initially entail teachers entering into six consecutive hour-long work stoppages on a district-by-district level over a period of two months.

The union is demanding the 147 educators brought in by the cabinet to fill staffing gaps until an expert committee evaluates the sector’s needs are at least given year-long contract.

They also have other concerns connected to the staffing at schools.

Education Minister Costas Kadis has until now insisted that every stakeholder except Poed agrees the schools are functioning well and said the unusual status given to some of the teachers this year would not set a precedent for the future.

State primary school teachers is September staged a one-hour work stoppage over the issue.

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