italybog.jpg Italian Teachers demonstrating against cuts last October Members of the COBAS teachers' union in Italy are to come out on strike on March 12th against the education 'reforms' of the Berlusconi government In its effort to cut state spending on education, the government is planning to cut thousands of school places and lose thousands of teaching jobs as well as skewing the education system towards business. The following is a statement from  Piero Bernocchi - the National Speaker of COBAS: AGAINST THE SLAUGHTERING OF  EDUCATION GENERAL STRIKE ON  MARCH 12th  Day after day   the attacks to public education  and its progressive dismantling and depletion   proceed on a disrupting path. A path drawn by a government which, speeding up on the way previously traced by the past ministers Fioroni, Berlinguer and Moratti, wants to erase  the centrality of public education, considering it a non-productive expense which has to be drastically reduced. At the same time the Culture and Education Commissions of Chamber and Senate are about to start the deadly “reform” of high school that will cancel by the tens of thousands work places for teachers and other school workers, and will cut fundamental subjects and hours of teaching. Furthermore the Labour Commission of Chamber has introduced, in a Labour Bill, an article which considers the apprenticeship  as completion of  compulsory education which would  hugely increase  the number of pupils leaving school at fifteen, while istitutional politics should instead set the goal of raising the school leaving age to eighteen . There' s enough to call school workers to an extensive and strong struggle, urging students and “people of public school” mobilizations. Therefore COBAS is calling a general school strike for the whole day of March the 12th, for the withdrawal of the High school “reform”, against the cut of thousands work places , against  cuts of schools and  school subjects, against  the Brunetta and Aprea bills, against   hierarchization of labor, and  against the lowering to 15 of  leaving age in compulsory education , for the employment of casual workers, for capital expenditures in school, for union democracy in the education sector and for the restitution of assembly rights. During the day of strike there will be  a national  demonstration in Rome : at  its head  casual workers in struggle for the defence of  public school, for the quality of teaching and for their own work. Piero BernocchiNational Speaker of COBAS