RIGA - The pre-election period and the existing geopolitical conditions are not the right time for a teachers' strike, Minister of Education and Science Anita Muizniece (Conservatives) told TV3 today.
Evaluating the ongoing negotiations, in Muizniece's view, the steps offered by the Ministry of Education and Science to the Latvian Education and Science Workers' Union (LIZDA) are considerable, considering the existing possibilities and the expected situation in the country. The politician would very much like to be able to completely avoid the strike, but this cannot be said at the moment, as both sides would have to come to a compromise.
The politician emphasized that the last two years the education sector has been under quite a lot of stress due to the pandemic. If the strike takes place, parents will still have to go to work and non-striking teachers will have even more stressful conditions.
"I don't think that in this situation, especially in the pre-election period, it is the right time [for a strike]. The other thing is the geopolitical situation. Our neighboring country constantly reminds us and tries to create a narrative about Latvia as a failed country, where everything is bad. I think that they are just waiting for something like this," said Muizniece, expressing hope that the strike will be avoided.
There is no progress with the salary increase schedule for teachers, because "as responsible politicians, we do not want" to leave to the next government unfulfilled promises without fiscal cover, said the minister. "We experienced this with the government of Maris Kucinskis, who left us with a schedule without the necessary financing. We remember how it all went with the previous minister," said the politician.