News ArchiveEnded: The long lasting strike of employees in education in Serbia

After the employees in primary and secondary schools in Serbia had been almost three months on strike, an Agreement has been struck between the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and two teacher unions, the Teacher Union of Serbia (TUS) and Nezavisnost (NTTU), who are representatives for the sector and members of ETUCE/Education International. The Agreement of Solving Disputes and Collective Agreement for Primary and Secondary Schools and Students’ Dormitories are also to be signed by two other unions that participated in the strike, following the decision of their boards foreseen for 18 February 2015 on the day of re-opening of schools.

All teacher unions are satisfied with the regulations in the Collective Agreement, as the solutions bring about a better protection of employees, regarding amongst others, cases of redundancy, service jubilee awards, the annual award, solidarity support, severance pay, as well as better protection of union representatives in schools.

The main reason for these long negotiations was the discussion on the regulation of other strike demands in the Agreement of Solving Dispute. Finally, the signatory partners agreed that the 10%salary cut in education and cuts in other parts of the public sector and pensions is to be mitigated through the solidarity support fund and the annual award; it has been agreed that teacher union representatives are to participate in the legislative preparation regarding the public sector salary grid and the Basic Law in education, with a view to find solutions to improve the position of employees in education, as they find themselves at the bottom of the public sector salary grid. The Ministry of Education is to include union representatives in all activities that have the potential to improve the position of employees in education.

ETUCE contributed to the improvement of the negotiation process and this support is important for the union representatives.