Thousands of students returned to classes on Tuesday, but many found the school closed in the morning due to strikes called by two teachers' unions, which lasted throughout the week.
One of the strikes was called by the Independent Union of Teachers and Educators (SIPE) in protest against some of the proposals presented by the government within the scope of the negotiation process for the revision of the teacher recruitment and mobility regime.
The stoppage, only during the first period of classes for each teacher, registered on Tuesday an adherence of 80%, according to estimates by the union.
“There was a strong turnout, which was even surprising,” SIPE president Júlia Azevedo told Lusa today, referring that in the remaining days the mobilization of teachers was on the rise.
Because it was a partial strike, many times educational establishments were closed only during the first period of classes, when students arrived at school. For this reason, explains Júlia Azevedo, “it has had an effect mainly due to the visibility, because then everything returns to normal in the second half of the teacher's schedule”.
Simultaneously, there was also another strike called for the same reasons by the Union of All Education Professionals (STOP). The strike for an indefinite period started on December 9th and the union has already issued notices for the entire month of January, extending the protest to non-teaching workers.
Therefore, some schools ended up being closed for the whole day, as was the case today in several of the districts of Braga and Viana do Castelo, according to the president of SIPE.
“These two forms of protest have shown the strength of the teachers' reason, their revolt and a cry, almost a desperate request to the Ministry to quickly open negotiations”, underlined Júlia Azevedo.
The SIPE partial strike, initially scheduled only for the first week of the 2nd cycle, will last until February 8th. However, the union today signed 18 strike notices by districts, along with seven other unions, including the National Federation of Teachers (Fenprof).
This strike will take place for 18 days, between January 16th and February 8th, each day in a district.
On Saturday, STOP will hold protests in all district capitals, with a march scheduled in Lisbon on January 14th.
In February, on the 11th, Fenprof, ASPL, Pró-Ordem, SEPLEU, SINAPE, SINDEP, SIPE and SPLIU will organize a national demonstration of teachers and educators, also in Lisbon, but before that it plans to camp in front of the Ministry of Education between the 10th and 13th of January.