January 20th, 2013

Government seals deal with teacher’s unions, but fails to win over PDSZ

The government and representatives of three out of four teacher unions sealed an agreement at talks on Friday, the minister of human resources said. PDSZ, a major union, refused to sign the deal, however.

Zoltan Balog said the sides had agreed on the framework for future cooperation after three hours of talks. The deal on what role the unions will assume in the process of the state takeover of schools from local authorities, as well as the salary regime, will be inked early next week and released, he said.

Laszlo Mendrey, head of the Democratic Union of Teachers (PDSZ), said after the talks that the PDSZ would set up its own strike committee. He said the agreement presented to the union was unacceptable and none of the strike committee’s original demands had been fulfilled.

He said no progress had been made in meeting their demands for an across-the-board 20 percent wage hike, wage compensation for an increased work load, in the issue surrounding the state take-over of schools and in redesigning the career model for teachers, Mendrey said.

He said the offer the government made this time is contained in a much “weaker document” and PDSZ sees no guarantees for the implementation of its recent content.

Mendrey said PDSZ would notify the prime minister about their call for a strike committee in a letter sent to him by Monday at the latest, and if no agreement is reached with all deadlines met they would call a strike in the second half of February.

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