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Teachers warn of measures after talks with minister collapse

July 18, 2018 at 11:10am
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Teachers’ unions have warned that they will step up measures against planned staffing changes after a meeting with Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris ended in an impasse.

They blamed the minister for the failure and said they would be announcing new measures, including plans for strike action in what they described as a long-term fight.

In a joint statement, the unions said the next academic year will not start smoothly because of the decisions of the Education Minister and cabinet.

Their statement was issued hours after a meeting on Tuesday with Hambiaouris and teachers’ unions OELMEK, POED and OLTEK ended in an impasse.  It followed last week’s protests by teachers over a cabinet decision to scrap a system allowing them to reduce their teaching hours according to their years of service.

The Minister said representatives of the teachers’ unions insisted that cabinet’s decision be withdraw and discussions start from scratch.He said this was not possible since it will cause a lot of problems come September.

Responding to the unions’ accusations of arbitrary decision-making, Hambiaouris said he followed due process and that unions were always aware of the discussions and decisions made.

“When we had the meeting on July 2, no final decisions were made. They were suggestions, based on recommendations of the Auditor-General,” he stated.