The Slovenia Times

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According to Velički, teachers are hit threefold under the proposed measures: by pay cuts, an increase in teacher obligations and by an increase in the number of students per class.

Friday's statements by Education Minister Žiga Turk are deceiving, underestimating and imply that employees in education are responsible for the crisis because they work ever less and demand ever more, she was critical.

She further stressed that the union's estimates showed the measures would lead to 2,500-3,000 and not 250 lay-offs, as he said on Friday.

Moreover, Velički said the claim that Slovenian teachers spent less time directly with pupils and students than is the OECD average was simply not true.

SVIZ secretary general Branimir Štrukelj explained at the press conference that the strike would be held on 18 April if the unions got the support of a majority of its 40,000 members, which is to be known a week before the announced strike date.

The strike would close down schools, while teachers would gather to protest at their schools and kindergartens or at rallies in several cities around Slovenia if they are allowed to. However, he said that they way things currently stand the union might not get a permit for the rally in Ljubljana.

Responding to the minister's call on unions to present counter-proposals, Štrukelj stressed the government should first trim grey economy, cronyism in public procurement, luxury and their own privileges before turning to the education system, which was improving its results in international comparisons by the year.

Štrukelj, who took part in negotiations with government representatives today, said that he saw no point in the negotiations if the cabinet was to adopt the measures on Thursday without presenting the whole motion to trade unions.


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