CESI supports Polish teacher trade union WZZ Solidarnosc-Oswiata in national strike action

After ten days of the strike of teachers in Poland, tomorrow, on Thursday, April 18, a new round of negotiations with the government will take place to find a constructive solution on wages.

CESI’s member organisation WZZ Solidarność-Oświata is in the front line to ask for a decent pay for teachers and other employees in the education sector.

According to Sławomir Wittkowicz, Chairman of WZZ Solidarność-Oświata, the Polish government and Ministry of Education have to act on:

– a lack of real increases in basic salary,

– a significant reduction of teaching posts

– a deterioration of educational offers in rural schools,

– an increase in duties and working time for teachers.

CESI strongly supports the protesters, WZZ Solidarność-Oświata and its partners, to swiftly find an acceptable solution. CESI believes that public services are a vital backbone for stable societies and strongly considers investments in education as delivering clear economic and financial returns in the long term perspective.

CESI Secretary-General Klaus Heeger stressed: “With great regret, we note that despite recent requests by CESI and WZZ Solidarność-Oświata, the Polish government is not keen to open a constructive dialogue on decent wages and find a real solution to the challenges that teachers and workers in the education sector face in Poland. The recent government behaviour has been short-sighted and detrimental.”

Claude Heiser, President of CESI’s sectoral members’ trade council on education policies, added: “Fair and decent work conditions are underlined in all international and European legally binding fundamental rights covenants, including the recent European Pillar of Social Rights which the Polish government has publicly supported. It goes without saying that our confederation is fully committed to supporting our members and their affiliates, especially when it comes to their fair and decent work conditions. For this reason, we strongly support WZZ Solidarność Oświata and its partners in this action for better wages.”

To address this situation and highlight it to national and European legislators, the European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI) will shortly present a new ‘Teachers’ Manifesto’ for better working conditions and improved professional recognition of teachers in Europe.