Call for International Solidarity from Greek Teachers Union

May 14, 2013

Below is a statement from the Greek secondary teachers’ union OLME, calling for solidarity and reporting on today’s situation:

 

greece4THE MEMORANDA POLICY HURT PUBLIC EDUCATION

NO TO CIVIL MOBILISATION ORDERS FOR SCHOOLTEACHERS

Public education and teachers’ working conditions in Greece are suffering a strong blow once again by the government and the Troika.

In a particularly sensitive period (with student examinations starting this week) the government passed the following new measures during Easter Holidays when schools are closed:

  • Dismissal of 10.000 substitute teachers as of September (beginning of the school year),

  • Compulsory transference of permanent teachers across the country,

  • Increase of teaching hours by 2-5 hours resulting in teachers being redundant and therefore candidates for dismissal.

  • Further abolitions and mergers of classes and schools units and increase of the number of students per classroom.

The above mentioned measures are added to the following measures passed during the three years of the memoranda policies implemented in Greece by the government and the Troika (EU-IMF-ECB) Those measures were:

  • Reduction of public spending on education by 33% (2009-2012) and by 47% until 2016.

  • Reduction of teacher salaries up to 45% for the newly appointed teachers.

  • Reduction in the number of permanent teachers by 12%.

  • Teacher evaluation is related to wage development, grade advancement and teacher dismissals.

  • School closures and abolition of educational support structures, loss of 32.000 teaching hours per week until the end of the school year due to teacher shortages, etc.

OLME has called on the Government to open a dialogue twice :a) prior to the voting of those measures, b) after the voting of those measures asking for their withdrawal until a public dialogue was achieved while asking from the Minister of Education a public commitment that no dismissals will take place. The Government refused to participate in any dialogue with the teachers and the Executive Board of OLME decided to propose to local teacher unions a series of strikes (a 24-hour strike on May 17 and 5 days strike on May 20-24).

The Greek government pursued an unprecedented, illegal and anti-constitutional “pre-emptive” act of issuing civil mobilisation orders upon the pretext of disrupting student exams from being run smoothly. The government decision was made before the local teacher unions assemble to discuss the OLME proposal and decide on the mobilisations.

We would appreciate the support of all teachers and Trade Unions through signature collections and resolutions to be send to the Greek Prime Minister and the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports.

OLME condemns this anti-democratic and authoritarian government policy asking the immediate recall of the civil mobilisation orders for teachers. OLME states that it will lodge an appeal against this decision to be withdrawn.

The struggle to defend democratic rights and public goods is all workers’ struggle.

You are kindly requested to send a copy of your resolutions to: olme@otenet.gr, interolme@yahoo.gr

Hellenic Republic Prime Minister, Mr. Antonis Samaras: pressoffice@primeminister.gr

Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, Mr. Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos: minister@minedu.gov.gr

For the E. B. of OLME

The President Secretary General

Nikos Papachristos Themis Kotsifakis

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