Unplanned vacation due to teachers’ strike

Patience has run out

After the educators and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports failed to sit down at the negotiation table, the teachers already last Friday announced not a warning strike, but a real one.

According to preliminary data, about 40% of people in Panevėžys city and district are not willing to work. pedagogues. As a result, some students will have an unplanned vacation, while others will have to remember the times of the pandemic when classes were held remotely.

Educators are serious about putting pressure on the ministry – they promise to strike for the whole month.

According to Erika Leiputė-Stundžienė, deputy of the trade union of Lithuanian education workers, 24 educational institutions will go on strike in the city of Panevėžys and the district. In some of them, not all teachers will work, in others – only a part.

“Each teacher has the right to choose whether to participate in the strike or not. Therefore, it is difficult to say what the exact number of strikers will be. It is unprofitable to strike, no one will pay teachers for those days. Finances are the main reason why some pedagogues do not join the strike”, said E. Leiputė-Stundžienė.

The union promises to compensate its members for lost wages.

Around 3,000 people join the strike in all of Lithuania. teachers, so the sums will be considerable. According to the deputy, preparations were being made for this. Educators themselves pay the membership fee, part of which goes to the strike fund. Part of the lost salary will be paid from it to the members of the trade union.

In many schools in the city and district, an indefinite teachers' strike will begin this Friday: some institutions will not hold classes at all, others will switch to distance learning, and administrative staff will have to look after children in kindergartens

According to E. Leiputė-Stundžienė, it is difficult to predict how long the strike may take. If necessary, teachers are determined not to work for a whole month.

“The strike will be until we manage to negotiate with the Government, but we really hope that this will not last long,” says E. Leiputė-Stundžienė.

Overworked and frustrated

Already today, some students will be able to enjoy an unplanned vacation. Such a vacation is a real headache for their parents. However, the pedagogues assure that they feel the support of the entire community.

In Panevėžys “Šaltinius” pro-gymnasium, all teachers without exception will be on strike, so students will not have to go to school.

According to Reda Maknevičienė, the English language teacher of “Šaltinii” pro-gymnasium, the chairwoman of the trade union, their team is very united. As many strikes as there were, pedagogues were always actively involved.

“Unhappy teachers cannot teach happy children.”

Reda Maknevičienė

“At least for the first few days, all pedagogues will be on strike, then we will see what the Government will propose based on the circumstances. Teachers are tired, disappointed, they don’t feel safe at school, nobody protects them. Not to mention that the number of students in the classes is way too high. Can a teacher approach every student if there are thirty of them in the class? There are no guarantees for teachers, only beautiful promises”, said the representative of the trade union.

According to her, pedagogues, with such an attitude, end up losing their motivation to work, and young professionals no longer come to schools.

“Until the teaching profession is not prestigious, as it should be, then education in our country will be in the place of a stepdaughter. Teachers are frustrated and tired. And unhappy teachers cannot teach happy children”, said R. Maknevičienė.

He feels the support of his parents

According to R. Maknevičienė, the pedagogues themselves want the strike to end sooner. However, it will depend not on them, but on the position of the country’s government.

“We understand the students and their parents, I am a mother myself, and my child, like everyone else, will lose the opportunity to study during the strike, but there are no other means to be heard. Negotiations continued for more than a year, but they did not improve our situation. As in that song: “I promised I kept it, I didn’t keep it I didn’t promise it.” Soon the government will change and everything will be held at the reins again and again from the beginning. One of the goals of the strike is to cause as much inconvenience as possible to society, so that everyone feels what it means when a child is not educated, so that parents also understand that we can only achieve something together,” said R. Maknevičienė.

According to her, the strikers feel the support of the students’ parents.

“When parents were informed about the planned strike, we did not receive a single negative comment, and it was the same during the warning strike. We heard much more often that teachers are cool, that they fight for their rights”, said the teacher.

Erika Leiputė-Stundžienė

The lessons of the pandemic will be remembered

While teachers are on strike, some schools will have unscheduled holidays for students, while others are preparing to switch to distance learning.

Most of the pedagogues are planning to go on strike at Velzis Gymnasium in Panevėžys district. Some of them are preparing to stop working only for a day or a few, while others are determined to strike until the desired result is achieved.

According to school director Rimtas Baltušis, the administration has to organize the teaching process in a different way.

“A strike always causes inconvenience. We will take all the primary school students, and the senior classes will study from home – those teachers who will not strike will conduct lessons remotely. If the number of strikers decreases, we will invite them to return to school again, we will adjust the schedule”, the director plans.

Supervision administration

Not only schools, but also kindergartens join the strike.

29 teachers and assistant teachers out of 53 are going to strike at the Panevėžys kindergarten-kindergarten “Vaikystė”.

A letter was distributed to the parents that the children will be met by the administration staff and, taking into account the number of visitors, further decisions will be made. After bringing the children, parents are asked to change them themselves in the locker rooms of their groups and escort them to the assembly hall, even children of several groups will be looked after there.

Evelina Sutkienė, director of “Vaikystės”, agrees: the administration will definitely have a test on how to organize child care.

“A large number of our pedagogues will go on strike, a few more are sick. On Thursday, we made plans for how we would organize childcare. It will be a challenge and a lot will depend on how many children will come to kindergarten. If we have the opportunity, we will combine the groups. And if we can’t, we will organize various artistic activities for several groups at once. We will definitely not be able to organize regular education”, said E. Sutkienė.

The head of the kindergarten admits that there will be challenges due to the fact that the smallest children are still adapting in September. When teachers change, adaptation is even more difficult. However, she is happy with her parents’ understanding.

“These changes are not very encouraging for children, but teachers also have the right to be sick, on vacation and to strike. As a manager, I support my employees, and how long they will strike is everyone’s decision. We also receive support and faith from parents that the demands made by teachers will reach the people of our government”, said E. Sutkienė.

Gintaras Sarafinas predicts chaos in educational institutions starting next year.

Aynura Imranova

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button