Teacher trade union initiates strike over education funding in Lithuania

  • 2019-10-18
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – One of the largest teacher trade unions in Lithuania is initiating a strike over the government's planned education funding.

"The council has made the decision (…) to call a strike," Egidijus Milesinas, chairman of the Lithuanian Education and Science Trade Union, told BNS Lithuania on Friday.

In his words, their lawyers are preparing necessary documents, and teachers could walk out in the second half of November.

The strike would be held over the government's planned education funding for 2020 under consideration along the next year's state budget.

The trade union's representatives pointed to the fact that the government pledged to allocate almost 118 million euros next year under the collective agreement signed earlier this year with representatives of the education and science area. But only 55.5 million euros are currently planned.

"What's been proposed is mockery," Milesinas said.

In his words, the Lithuanian Education and Science Trade Union was established following a merger of several trade unions earlier this year and it has around 10,000 members, with the majority of them being school teachers.

Members of the Lithuanian Education Employees Trade Union held a strike for around a month late last year in protest of the planned teacher pay changes.

"We are still considering whether to support colleagues," Andrius Navickas, its leader, told BNS Lithuania on Friday.

Funding for the Education, Science and Sports Ministry stands at over 1.237 billion euros this year, and is set to be increased to almost 1.280 billion euros next year.