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Teaches go on strike on Wednesday. Foto: BoBo

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Teaches go on strike on Wednesday! Why did the government change its mind?

13. March 2018 ob 11:59
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

Representatives of the Trade Union of Teachers, Researchers and Cultural Workers (SVIZ) were close to reaching an agreement on their strike demands, but things got complicated when the document had to initialed. Everyone will now go on strike – from kindergartens to universities, confirmed Branimir Štrukelj.

Štrukelj stated in the TV Slovenia Odmevi programme that it was not possible for them to go back to the negotiating table tomorrow. "Our rules say that a strike cannot be cancelled 48 hours before its start."

Štrukelj explained that the strike will unfold like the first time, but there will be no mass rally like the one in Ljubljana, when more than 20,000 people gathered at the Congress Square. Strikers will instead be dispersed across 11 locations in Slovenia.

They are pointing at the government's chief negotiator...
"With a full consent of the main strike committee, we have decided to continue fighting for reducing backlogs and for the valuation of work in education, because the government has backtracked from the agreed and harmonised agreement – the document has not been initialed and we do not know where we actually are," Štrukelj explained to journalists in his first statement after the SVIZ meeting.

"You need to ask others why this had happened,’ he said. He added that, at today’s meeting, they had been assured that teachers and professionals could be placed into one higher pay bracket, but then ‘the government changed its mind," he said.

Štrukelj confirmed that there will be a strike on Wednesday and that it will intensify after Wednesday "until the government agrees to what was actually already agreed upon".

"Things got complicated when we had agreed on all the elements of the strike agreement and then Liljana Kozlovič had to leave the meeting. We prepared a draft deal, but then came a message from other talks which took place at the government, that Kozlovič was no longer prepared to initial our agreement," explained Štrukelj, pointing at the government's chief negotiator.

...but Kozlovič points at Sviz
In her reaction, Kozlovič stated: "SVIZ did not come closer to the government's offer"

After talks between the union representatives and the coalition and after afternoon negotiations with SVIZ, Kozlovič also held talks with the representatives of a group of unions headed by Jakob Počivavšek – the Trade Union of Health and Social Security and the Union of Health Workers of Slovenia.

Following the meeting, at which SVIZ decided to endorse the strike on Wednesday, Kozlovič stated that the government coalition gave a "concrete proposal, a good offer" to the unions. She added that she conditioned the financial framework to the unions' willingness to agree to the offer. "Without that we cannot end the negotiations," she stressed.

According to Kozlovič, SVIZ did not come closer to the government's needs in order to close the negotiations, especially regarding the issues of promotions, performance-related bonuses for regular work and the dynamics itself. "I therefore assess that my mandate was exhausted when there was no attempt to come closer to our proposal," said Kozlovič, secretary general.

G. V., MMC; translated by A. L.
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