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Political parties mark Teachers’ Day

The co-ruling Christian Democrats (KDNP) said in a statement on Sunday, Teachers' Day, that teachers "hold Hungary's future in their hands" and "we are grateful to all those who educate our youth in kindergartens and schools."

Families are in the focus of KDNP’s policy, the statement signed by group leader Istvan Simicsko said, adding that “the future of our homeland and our nation rests on the young generation raised by those families”. Teachers have a huge responsibility in “what kind of people our children and grandchildren will grow up to be,” it said.

Parties of the opposition also thanked teachers for their work, but protested low pay in schools and recent restrictions concerning the rights of teachers to strike.

The Democratic Coalition (DK) said in a statement: “We should not forget how much we owe teachers whose efforts [Prime Minister Viktor] Orban’s inhumane system has rewarded with a successive curbing of their rights, humiliatingly low salaries, an incredible workload and degrading Teachers’ Day benefits in the past 12 years”.

The Parbeszed party demanded an instant pay rise and benefits for teachers. In a statement, the party noted the high rate of teachers quitting their jobs, and insisted it was “the last chance to reverse the drastic deterioration of the quality of public education”. Parbeszed will appeal to the Constitutional Court against recent legislation seen as “shockingly” curbing teachers’ right to strike, the statement said.

Green LMP said a pay rise to compensate teachers for inflation could no longer be delayed, and insisted that the salaries of young teachers was higher in every other European Union member state except Bulgaria. In their statement, LMP co-leaders Erzsebet Schmuck and Mate Kanasz-Nagy demanded a pay hike immediately, as well as the restoration of teachers’ right to strike.

The Socialist Party said it would also appeal to the top court concerning the strike law, and demanded that teachers should get a “radical” increase of at least 50 percent of their salaries, and each teacher should receive a voucher worth 100,000 forints (EUR 255) as a Teachers’ Day bonus.

Conservative Jobbik MP Koloman Brenner said on Facebook his party was working to ensure that teachers are properly rewarded for their work “morally and financially”.

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