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Unions against restricting teachers’ strike rights

Five Hungarian trade union federations have protested against a bill seen as seeking to curb the rights of teachers to strike.

The federations SZEF, ESZT, LIGA, MSZSZ and MOSZ said in a statement that they had been “shocked” to learn that the bill on lifting the state of emergency imposed in response to the pandemic in Hungary would contain passages “significantly” restricting the current rights of teachers.

The unions demand that the government drop the bill, which would eliminate the current practice of employer-employee talks on minimum services during the strike before starting the action, as well as an opportunity for teachers to appeal to a court should those talks prove futile.

Should parliament wish to define minimum services in a law, they should be defined on the basis of earlier court rulings, the unions said in their statement.

The proposed restriction would serve “neither employees’ nor employers’ real interests”, the statement said.

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