Teachers in Croatia have been on strike since last Friday, in their pursuit of a modest 4% pay rise. The strike is throughout all sectors – primary, secondary and higher and has been well supported. However the government and security forces have been putting pressure on the teachers to go back to work. The President of the teachers union says that police have been in some schools, taking the names of teachers on strike and certain principals are threatening to fire striking teachers.

Union leaders are trying to secure a promise of a pay increase after the election, which takes place in two months. According to a teacher who spoke to teachersolidarity:

The prime reason is low pay, although not the only reason. Croatian teachers have been affected by low working conditions as well as the lack/loss of dignity seen through the eyes of students, parents and the whole Croatian Government. Literally, there is a need for a new education system! In the eyes of society education 'should be' important as well as we should be 'The Country of Knowledge' but we, teachers, are just unvalued society members treated with mockery and disrespect

The Croatian government has been enforcing 'austerity' measures as instructed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, making massive cuts to public services. Youth unemployment is at 50% and 14% of people are living in poverty.

Croatian teachers are in the forefront of the battle against these measures. As the teacher who spoke to us said:

Teachers across the world, stand for all the teachers in Croatia!

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and send a message of support. Or email mary@teachersolidarity.com