On November 12, teachers in 5 schools in Lithuania declared an open-ended strike, following educational reforms that worsened teachers‘ wages and working conditions. Since then, the number of striking schools has increased to over a 100 and is still growing.  Their strike has turned into an occupation in the headquarters of the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science. The protest has already led to the ouster of three high-ranking government officials

Teachers are fighting against a new system of time-based wages that was supposed to be a solution to the problem of teachers‘ work being highly demanding (overcrowded classes, lots of bureaucracy, emotional labour after work hours etc.) and very poorly paid (the average teacher‘s monthly salary is 520eu). However, the reform made the situation even worse, effectively lowering many teachers‘ wages and requiring them to work longer hours. The striking teachers are now demanding a schedule of 18 hours for contact work and 18 hours for other tasks per week. They also demand a 20% increase in basic wage and decrease in class sizes.

In recent years, teachers have been at the forefront of the labor movement in Lithuania, consistently demanding better work conditions using union pressure and strikes, unlike most other labor sectors. Because of their resistance, they have been publicly shamed and pressured by the government, as well as unions beholden to the government.

The striking teachers  are asking for international solidarity. You can post messages and pictures here.