Thousands protest for better pay for teachers
PR dla Zagranicy
Thousands protested in front of the education ministry in the Polish capital on Saturday demanding pay rises for teachers.
Protesters at the education ministry in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski.
Sławomir Broniarz, head of the Polish Teachers' Association, which organised the protest, said that the teachers' union did not approve of the education ministry's proposed net monthly wage of about PLN 1,200 (EUR 287) for rookie teachers.
He added that teachers' wages were "pathetic" and that the rises they recently received were "even worse".
The union wants teachers to earn PLN 1,000 more each month.
Protesters also called for better education policy and the dismissal of Education Minister Anna Zalewska.
Zalewska called for calm, saying that pay rises which have been planned for January 2019 and 2020 will see teachers earning PLN 1,000 more each month.
She added that teachers who fared especially well in assessments would be eligible for a further PLN 500 each month. The education ministry recently said that teachers would face assessment every three years.
Protesters said Zalewska should be dismissed because of the implementation in September last year of "an ill-conceived, poorly prepared, expensive education reform, despite expert opinions and public opinion."
Last September the education ministry did away with a system of six years of elementary school, three years of middle school and three years of high school, which had been in place for 18 years.
The system was replaced with eight years of elementary school and four years of high school or five years of vocational school.
Middle schools are to be phased out by mid-2019. Numerous protests were held against the reform. (vb/pk)