The Slovenia Times

Strike: Schools, Kindergartens Closed, Institutes Limit Work


Protest rallies have also started in 14 major towns across Slovenia. Some 10,000 people reportedly turned out in Ljubljana, calling for solidarity, the rule of law, welfare state, fair distribution of wealth and dialogue.

Almost 32,800 out of the total of 41,515 employees in education, science and culture are on strike today, Branimir Štrukelj of the trade union representing these workers said.

Schools and kindergartens are closed and the share of children who are in the kindergartens today will probably not exceed 2%, which was the share during last April's strike, the SVIZ head said.

Most of those employees in education who are not on strike are either on a maternity leave, sick leave or on school trips, Štrukelj added.

A group of about a hundred Ljubljana university employees and students meanwhile gathered in front of the university building in Ljubljana's central square. Chancellor Stanislav Pejovnik addressed the crowd saying that brain drain could be prevented only with adequate financing of the university and research institutes.

Cultural institutions also joined the strike and several libraries as well as museums and galleries are closed today. Some theatres have cancelled today's performances.

According to Štrukelj, 30 cultural institutions employing SVIZ members have decided to take part in the industrial action. About a half of cultural workers who are members of the GLOSA trade union also joined in.

GLOSA has about 3,600 members in 120 cultural institutions.

Work is limited and similar to that on Sundays at social work centres, centres for the disabled and social security centres today.

Boris Koprivnikar of the Community of Social Centres told the STA that the employees were on strike in line with the law, which meant that they were still performing their duties to provide for health and security of the people.

Most health institutes have also adjusted their work to Sunday's schedule. However, the Ljubljana Health Community Centre operating seven units across the city said work in their units was running undisturbed.

"In four of our units nobody is on strike, in two of them few employees of the diagnostic laboratory joined the strike and in one some nursers are on strike," the head of the centre, Tonka Poplas Susič, said, adding that patients did not feel the strike in any of the units.

The employees of the Ljubljana and Celje city administrations have joined the strike while their colleagues at the Maribor and Kranj city administrations opted out. The work at Ljubljana and Celje municipalities will nevertheless not be disturbed.

Customs officials, a part of police officers, professional fire-fighters and vets are also on strike, while the Tax Administration is performing its duties as usual.

More than 1,400 customs officials are working to rule, according to unionist Dušan Miščević, who added that tailbacks are already reported on border crossings and waiting times are increasing.

The police trade union PSS is also continuing the work-to-rule that started on 11 January. The other police union SPS meanwhile did not join the strike.


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