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Education state secretary calls for talks with teachers’ unions

Zoltan Maruzsa, the state secretary in charge of public education has invited representatives of the strike committee of teachers' unions for November 7, a senior official of the union PDSZ said on Thursday.

Erzsebet Nagy spoke at a press conference held prior to a demonstration that began in Budapest, in which students, parents and teachers formed a live chain to support the unions’ demands. She said that simultaneously with the Budapest event, “thousands of teachers” rejected holding their classes across the country during the day and demonstrations were planned in front of 33 school district headquarters out of a total 60.

PDSZ has called a general teachers’ strike for November 18, Nagy said.

The noAr Movement has called for a general strike in solidarity with teachers. Aron Molnar, its founder, said education was “not an issue for just Left or Right, rural Hungary or the capital, liberals or conservatives, but a common, national cause”. He said “the ever growing crowd is now standing up not only for education, but for health care, welfare, and for all groups in society that this government has left in shallow water”.

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