Representatives of the educational Solidarity, the Polish Teachers’ Union and the Trade Union Forum met on October 13 and after the talks signed an agreement in which they strongly reject the proposals of the minister of education, Przemysław Czarnek. It’s about working hours and teachers’ salaries.
The representatives of the three largest trade unions active in education took place on Wednesday, October 13 at the “Dialog” Social Partnership Center in Warsaw. The parties agreed on the further direction of the talks with the minister of education, Przemysław Czarnek, at the same time they adopted a position in which they “strongly reject” his proposals of September 21 concerning changes in the pragmatics of the teaching profession.
It was then that the minister informed the trade unionists that he would offer teachers a pay rise of around PLN 1,000 gross, but in return, among others, behind extending their working time at the blackboard. It is about increasing the so-called working hours from 18 to 22 hours a week.
What would trade unionists like?
In the position adopted by the representatives of the unions, they primarily demand “linking the minimum rates of basic salaries for teachers with the average salary in the economy”. The government made this teaching promise of Solidarity in April 2019 and did not implement it.
It happened during a nationwide educational strike organized by the PNA and the FZZ. Solidarity, although it did not officially join the strike, took part in negotiations with the government and was ultimately the only one to sign an agreement with it.
Common position of conflicting trade unionists
Union centers, even if they raised similar demands, had been at odds for years.
When was the last time you did something together? – I ask Sławomir Broniarz, president of the PNA, and he ponders for a moment. – The last time we demonstrated together was on October 14, 2015, when Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska was the minister of education – recalls Broniarz.
And he adds: – It was just before the parliamentary elections in which PiS won.
Duda writes to Morawiecki
In Solidarity, not only the educational section deals with the issue of teachers’ salaries. This week, the chairman of the entire union, Piotr Duda, in a letter to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, wrote: “I expect you to fulfill your agreements. This is primarily about your credibility and the credibility of the United Right, whose rule has been characterized by this in recent years.” Chairman Duda meant, inter alia, it was about an agreement concluded more than two years ago during the strike.
In a letter to the prime minister, he also informed that the educational section of Solidarity “established a protest staff, thus starting preparations for appropriate actions.”
– Although we have not been on our way recently, I want to believe that the fact that chairman Duda himself joined the matter will strengthen Solidarity’s position in this matter – comments Broniarz. And he emphasizes – We are always ready to cooperate in the interests of teachers.
Minister: I work with teachers all the time
On Wednesday morning – before the unionists’ meeting – Minister Przemysław Czarnek was asked by Radio Wrocław if he had “already communicated with the teachers?” – I am in agreement with the teachers all the time. I work with teachers all the time – emphasized Czarnek in response.
And he added: – We work with teachers, it is teachers and school principals who present us with their solutions to the problems that exist at school. On the basis of these proposals of teachers and principals, we formulate our proposals, which we present to trade unions and local government officials.
On Wednesday, the minister also sent a letter to teachers on the occasion of the National Education Day on October 14. He writes in it, inter alia, about the fact that this school year his ministry continues activities aimed at increasing the prestige of the teaching profession. “We have prepared suggestions for good solutions that will translate into improved working conditions and an increase in remuneration. As the Minister of Education and Science, I want this profession to be recognized by the public,” he emphasized.
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 assess with experts whether what is behind these ideas and proposed solutions will be beneficial for students and teachers. We check whether school autonomy is under threat. And will parents really 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.
Main photo source: Albert Zawada / PAP