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New Legal Amendment Will Eliminate Teachers’ Right to Strike

The government is planning make future teacher strikes invisible, according to a proposed amendment to the Public Education Law obtained by Népszava that would entrench the government decree on teacher strikes issued during the pandemic state of emergency into law.

If the proposal is adopted, public school teachers will only be able to strike at their schools under the strict conditions set by the government after the state of emergency has been declared over.

This means that in the event of a possible voluntary work stoppage, all institutions must provide childcare, classes and lunchtimes cannot be merged together, and at least 50% of the lessons, or 100% of the compulsory subjects for graduating students, must be held.

If the work stoppage results in too few teachers, the head of the institution can also instruct the striking teachers to go back to work. Special education teachers and teachers dealing with particular student needs are completely banned from striking.

The Teachers’ Union (PSZ) responded in a statement asking MPs not to accept the proposal in its current form. PSZ claims that the amendment, like the previous government decree, deprives unions of the opportunity to negotiate even sufficient services.

In addition, the proposal lacks social consultation of the proposal, which is required by the Legislative Act. This suggests that once again the new government again does not consider trade unions as negotiating partners, states PSZ.

If the amendment is adopted, it will make it impossible in the future for the entire faculty to go on strike. The government is clearly making a play to intimidate educators.

-PSZ Vice-President Tamás Totyik told Népszava. [Népszava]

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