Secondary School Teachers to Strike Friday as Court Lifts Injunction

National Labor Court urges Education, Finance Ministries to resume talks with teachers over wage disagreement.

The Secondary School Teachers' Association will go on strike Friday, after the National Labor Court on Thursday lifted the injunction barring the association from striking over a wage dispute.

The judges urged the Finance and Education ministries and the teachers' association to resume their negotiations, which started in December of last year, to resolve the dispute.

The teachers are demanding a new wage agreement, a mechanism to determine the extent of the erosion of their wages, additional payment for work with children with special needs, and an increase of early retirement schemes.

At the end of August, five days before the start of the school year, the labor court decided to acquiesce to the government's request and issued a court order prohibiting the teachers from striking.

National Labor Court President Justice Steve Adler wrote in his ruling last month that "we must decide between the teachers right to strike due to their wage demands and the steps the association takes which would disrupt the start of the school year."

In the ruling, the court decided that "bridging the gap between the two sides is possible, in a quick and timely manner" thus making a strike unnecessary.

The injunction barred the teachers from striking until Thursday, when the court would reconvene, while instructing both sides to carry out "intensive negotiations with the sole purpose of settling the dispute."