After a three-month dispute over proposed education reforms, the teachers’ unions and an inter-ministerial committee, agreed yesterday to immediately start talks.
The agreement was announced by Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris who assured that the best results would be achieved on behalf of our children’s best interest.
Primary school teachers union POED President Fylios Fylactou did not get into details regarding the agreement but said that it will benefit the children.
“What is important is this positive outcome,” he said.
President of organised parents Kyriacos Nikiforou said that the parents are satisfied with the agreement.
He added that they are happy they played a small part in finding a solution to the crisis with the measures they proposed.
The proposals, tabled by organised parents and SEK trade union, reportedly would make it possible for the education ministry and union teachers to discuss a whole host of issues on school reform while highly contested topics will be deferred to the Departmental Joint Personnel Committee on Education (MEPEY) for resolution, such as exempted instructional hours.
The crisis, which included a 48-hour strike last week, began in July, when the government announced a string of measures to reform the operation of public schools.
The Education Ministry decided to reduce the free time previously afforded to senior educators as well as to union cadres to engage in trade-union activities during normal working hours.
With the change, certain educators would have been forced to spend more time in the classroom.
The government also proposed a reduction in teaching periods, which educators had depending on years of service.
Teachers returned to their classrooms last Thursday, but threatened with rolling strikes if the dispute persisted.