On Monday, President Andrzej Duda met with representatives of the Ministry of Education, Prime Minister Matusz Morawiecki and trade unionists. It was about the salary of teachers. The problem is that the president only invited the educational “Solidarity”, excluding the Polish Teachers’ Union and the Trade Union Forum.
The president’s office informed via social media about the meeting of the president with representatives of the government and trade unions on Monday after 10.00. Apart from Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the meeting was attended by the Minister of Education Przemysław Czarnek, his deputy Dariusz Piontkowski and Ryszard Proksa, a representative of the educational “Solidarity” (representing about 70,000 teachers). The talks concerned teachers’ salaries.
This composition of the meeting surprised representatives of the remaining trade unions operating in the education sector – the largest one with around 200,000 members of the Polish Teachers’ Union and the smaller 10,000 Trade Union Forum.
Krzysztof Baszczyński, the vice president of the PNA, commented on the meeting in social media, who has so far represented the union at meetings with the ministry of education. “He appreciates the President’s decision to mediate between the government and the social side regarding the salaries of n-li. It is astonishing, however, that only a part of the social side participates in the talks. exclusion “(original spelling – ed.).
Weaponist: it’s better to talk to your own people
– Over the last few years, Mr. President has not shown anything special for education, so I do not expect miracles from this meeting – comments the president of the Polish National Science Association, Sławomir Broniarz, in an interview with tvn24.pl. However, he immediately adds: – I am curious how Minister Czarnek will choose this during the meeting with all union headquarters on November 18. How will he answer the question why there was no meeting with other unions? After all, it was the minister himself who called for a meeting with Prime Minister Morawiecki, claiming that everything in financial matters is in the hands of the prime minister. Of course, I understand that it is better to talk to your own people, because the ruling relationship may be “S”, but I would like it to be called directly. The most important question now is: will “Solidarity” betray teachers? – he adds.
Broniarz thus referred to the situation in spring 2019, when “Solidarność” was the only one to sign an agreement with the government, thus ending the nationwide strike, which was then led by the PNA and the FZZ. The government then promised “S” that it would link teachers’ salaries with the average salary in the economy, but this has not happened so far and There is no such proposal among the solutions proposed by Minister Czarnek.
On Twitter, Broniarz wrote: “Member States that accept dialogue only with specially selected and government-friendly organizations (…) are just as guilty of undemocratic practices as governments that do not engage in dialogue with civil society at all.”
The dispute on Radio Maryja
But the relations between the minister of education and the representatives of “S” today are not so rosy.
– There is no money to improve working conditions. There is no question of standardization, which we have been calling for for many years and which local governments have also been demanding for many years. We are dealing with anti-educational rhetoric. We are surprised and devastated – this is how Ryszard Proksa, chairman of the National Education and Upbringing Section of NSZZ “Solidarity”, spoke about MEiN’s proposals on changes in working hours and salaries of teachers. “News of the day” was broadcast by Radio Maryja, which was very critical of the government.
On November 12, also on the air of Radio Maryja, Proxy’s statement was commented on by Czarnek: – First of all, we remain in the camp of truth. Unfortunately, what the Proksa chairman did on Radio Maryja a few days ago, is a fundamental failure to follow the truth. And for this I have a grudge against a man whom I respect very much. But you cannot argue on the basis of falsehood, and that is what we heard from President Proxy.
Czarnek concluded: “it is good to speak the language of truth, not the language of Tusk”.
When asked about the composition of the meeting participants, government spokesman Piotr Mueller said to tvn24.pl: – The prime minister accepted the president’s invitation to the meeting. It was “Solidarity” that was a party to the previously signed agreement (from spring 2019 – ed.). That is why the meeting was held in this group.
On November 10, the Polish Teachers’ Union informed that if the minister of education and science, Przemysław Czarnek, did not comply with their demands, they would start a formal dispute with the government. This could be the first step in organizing a strike. – We are strengthening our activities and we encourage other union headquarters to do so – then commented Magdalena Kaszulanis, a spokeswoman for the PNA.
On November 18, minister Czarnek will meet with representatives of all educational unions, as planned. That day is also passing ultimatumthat the minister was brought by the PNA.
At tvn24.pl, we are looking at the ideas of Minister Przemysław Czarnek and his advisers. We translate the official language of laws and regulations into the language of school practice for you. We evaluate with experts whether what is behind these ideas and proposed solutions will be beneficial for students and teachers. We check whether school autonomy is at stake and whether parents will actually have an impact on the education and upbringing of their children. All this – articles, interviews, videos, interactive infographics, research reports – can be found on our website under the slogan #continuously.