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DK demands reemployment of teachers dismissed in wake of protests

Teachers’ unions initiate strike committee, call for appointing commissioner for education

Teachers' trade unions PSZ and PDSZ have called for a meeting of their joint strike committee next week, and called on the prime minister to appoint a commissioner for education, in an open letter on Friday.

In their letter, the unions said “the government declines talks with unions referring to a pending European Commission decision concerning funds to cover a pay hike (for teachers)” but added that the government could start giving teachers a substantial raise immediately, from the central budget. They also said they refused the argument that “the Left and Brussels are hindering a pay hike in education”.

The unions called on Viktor Orbán to “appoint a commissioner without delay who has expertise in all areas of education and who is not associated with recent fiascos” to be a partner in talks on structural changes in education, managing a shortage of teachers, reducing the burden on teachers, a review of the national curriculum, and modernisation of the education system in general. Addressing those issues must not be further delayed, the unions added.

DK demands reemployment of teachers dismissed in wake of protests

All “illegitimately dismissed” teachers should be reemployed without delay, opposition Democratic Coalition shadow prime minister Klara Dobrev told an online press conference on Friday.

Dobrev also demanded that teachers’ strike rights should be restored and that those right should be governed by “straightforward” rules.

Dobrev called Wednesday’s protests staged by striking teachers and students “uplifting”, adding that her party was preparing an education strategy.

Balazs Barkoczi, the party’s shadow education minister, called for a pay rise for teachers and said education could not work well without well-paid teachers.

Olga Kalman, spokesperson of DK’s shadow cabinet, asked if the party supported European Union sanctions on energy, said the Hungarian government had voted for those sanctions. The government’s communications condemning the sanctions against Russia “are therefore meaningless”, she added.

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