All-day public schools are in limbo with part-time and supply teachers going on strike Tuesday, leaving parents scrambling to make arrangements for their children.
The 24-hour strike is being organised by PASYPPOS, an all-day school teachers association, whose members advocate for the rights of part-time and supply teachers in state-run, public, optional all-day schools. Adult Education Centres (AEC) also take part in the strike.
Who is being affected
The Education Ministry issued an announcement saying parents, whose children attend afternoon school programmes at an all-day optional school, will have to make arrangements to pick their children up at 1:05pm.
The statement also called on other professionals who work at all-day schools, such as bus drivers, restaurant owners, school aids, and special education staff, to help facilitate the arrangements.
Some reports suggested that teachers and ministry officials will have a discussion later Tuesday, but the strike is expected to go forward.
Supply teachers want full benefits
The teachers association, which recently rejected a pay raise proposed by the Education Ministry, says their members want to be hired with full job benefits and not work as temporary workers without even unemployment benefits.
The current job status for PASYPPOS teachers, which was introduced in 2013 during the economic crisis, means that educators in all-day and optional schools, who basically teach additional lessons to pupils after school or adults in the evenings, get paid only for their instructional services and are not on staff with a regular salary.
Hambiaouris said on local radio that over half of the teachers who work at AEC’s make between €1000 and €2300 monthly
A statement from PASYPPOS said this was “unfair treatment” which forces teachers to be self-employed and they usually end up with no work for five months each year and no unemployment benefits.
“These are the teachers with a meager salary (about €500 per month) who have to pay 14.6% of their salary to Social Security,” said PASYPPOS in a letter to parents of children attending optional all-day schools, kindergartens, and special schools.
But Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris went on local radio to reveal that over half of the teachers who work at AEC’s make between €1000 and €2300 monthly.
Hambiaouris also said that many AEC teachers work in other programmes funded by the ministry, adding that some teachers also have their own private practice or work for other educational centres.
The minister also saiid the issue and grievances could be re-examined next year, in May 2019.