The Slovenia Times

Teachers' Trade Union Calls for Minister Turk's Resignation


"Because there is a limit to what we can take and given the indignation expressed in reports by representatives of the SVIZ main was clear that the only thing that can be done at this moment is to ask minister Turk to resign," SVIZ head Branimir Štrukelj told the press.

He added that this was the first time in 20 years that the highest body of this trade union has demanded the resignation of "of an executive state official".

Štrukelj said that Turk had lost all credibility in the eyes of the 40,000 members of SVIZ following several controversial decisions.

"The final straw was him agreeing in the government budget debate to such brutal cuts in culture, science and education, areas that are so to say an instrument for turning a group of people into a civilised society," he said, expressing bewilderment over the cuts being "deeper than anywhere else".

Štrukelj highlighted last Friday's press conference at which Turk announced for 2013 a 15% wage bill cut for primary and secondary schools compared to 2011, a 19% cut for scientific institutions and a 17% cut for institutions working in culture. Universities are to get 16% less than in 2011.

SVIZ will now wait for the details of the 2013 and 2014 budgets and respond to potential layoffs with all legal and legitimate means available, which translates into a threat of a general strike in education, science and culture.

Also inviting other trade unions in the public as well as private sectors, the union will first organise a protest rally at which it will express its opposition to the government's actions.

SVIZ moreover expressed support for the decision of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KSJS) to respond to potential layoffs with opposition in labour market reform talks against cuts to severance pay, shorter layoff notice periods, lower unemployment benefits and less protection for older workers.

If the provisions mentioned are adopted despite the opposition from the two groupings, SVIZ will launch referendum proceedings, Štrukelj announced.


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