Former Culture and Education Minister Darius Kuolys said that the teacher’s unions had decided to strike at the right time with elections on the horizon and that they should be thanked for putting education at the centre of the national political agenda.
Darius Kuolys
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

“We need to thank the teachers for drawing the political parties’ focus to education issues, and we need to demand that the political parties act on the basis of national interest. Because what do our traditional parties do now? They are trying to sideline the issues,” said Kuolys on LRT’s the week news programme.

“The teachers came out with their demands and they are immediately accused of having been influenced by Russia. In fact, education is a key strategic area for Lithuania. And it turns out, that it is only considered a second-rate issue by Lithuania’s traditional parties - it does not matter.”

Government negotiations with the teacher’s trade union will continue on Monday with teachers demanding an additional €13 million for salaries.

“From the first of January, teachers‘ salaries were increased by an average of 3%. But in reality the majority of Lithuanian teachers did not receive higher salaries, some got even lower wages, and this was due to so-called official salary coefficient cuts. Therefore, we demand to eliminate these cuts and to start raising teachers' salaries. We do not require that much, only additional €13 million to the current education budget which is more than €1 billion euros,” said Audrius Jurgelevičius, the chairman of the Lithuanian educators‘ trade union said the programme.

LRT

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