Teacher unions threaten strike for September
(CS/ml) Luxembourg teachers unions have threatened a strike should Education Minister Claude Meisch fail to withdraw plans for a controversial savings package.
Some 93.7 percent of teachers voted against the savings package, negotiated between the ministry and unions, but which the unions swiftly discredited.
Under the plans, supervision hours were to be restructured to free up more teaching hours. Additionally, weekly free hours for teachers aged 45, 50 and 55 or over were to be replaced with related tasks, such as tutoring, mentoring for teacher trainees or other school projects. Only teachers aged over 60 would actually be given the time off.
Changes to exam correction procedures meanwhile were aimed at shortening the examination period, allowing classes to remain in session longer.
The Education Minister has responded to the strike threat saying to RTL that he would not engage in “rhetorical armament.” However, he showed himself surprised by statements by unions and teacher committees that the dispute could last until September.
After a conciliation between the parties was declared as failed by the minister earlier this month, Meisch hopes to be able to reach a solution by the end of July in order to prevent a strike. Meisch explained that he hopes for clarity for students and parents before school is back in session at the end of summer.
At the same time the Education Ministry is looking into the possible repercussions of strike action, with a view to limiting effect on school life should the worst-case scenario occur.