Photo: MTI

Protesters demand pay rises for teachers

Several organisations held a protest demanding wage increases for teachers in front of the Interior Ministry on Saturday.

The demonstration was organised by the Egyseges Diakfront (United Student Front), teachers’ trade union PDSZ, Fridays For Future Hungary, Hang (Voice), ADOM Diakmozgalom (I GIVE Student Movement), Orszagos Kozos Akarat (National Common Will) and Civil Bazis.

Noel Perlaki-Borsos of the United Student Front said that the government was “going back on its promises” and questioned the truth of the assertion that pay rises depended on “slips of paper from Brussels”.

PDSZ national board member Alexandra Pal said a 32.2 percent wage increase for teachers had been announced thanks to protestors “who knew no fear”, but added that there was “no guarantee promises would be kept”. She added that protests would continue to address not just teachers’ pay, but the need for a “radical restructuring” of the education system.

A few dozen people participated at the protest. As temperatures dipped, police offered hot tea to the participants.

Retvari: Teacher protest organisers ‘show true colours’

Organisers of teacher protests on Saturday have “shown their true colours” by demonstrating for political reasons rather than for pay rises, an Interior Ministry state secretary said.

Bence Retvari said continuing demonstrations for higher pay even after details of pay rises were announced and the relevant regulations promulgated showed the organisers were not interested in the welfare of teachers but in protesting against the government.

He noted that at most 5-7 percent of teachers had joined strikes and that less than 1 percent had rejected their new legal status. He added that the government had earlier announced the timeframe for raising teachers’ pay, gradually, to close to 800,000 forints (EUR 2,100) by 2025.

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