Mário Nogueira

Education ministry still has its homework to do…

Teachers syndicates unimpressed following start of 6th round of negotiations

Slowly, slowly the education ministry is receiving watered down recognition from teaching syndicates that it is ‘trying hard’ but “could do a whole lot better”.

Midway through the 6th round of negotiations which began today, secretary general of Fenprof Mário Nogueira stressed there are still “many steps to take” before any kind of agreement can be reached, but the Secretary of State for education does seem to be making the right noises.

Nogueira was referring to a new model for teacher recruitment and placement. But, there are still so many other issues to settle, he told reporters.

Dubbing the ministry’s perceived opening up over recruitment and placement “a good sign”, he added that the way forwards was  “very difficult” nonetheless.

The platform of nine teaching syndicates championed by Fenprof is intransigent over recovery of the approximately six and a half years during which teachers had their careers frozen – largely because teachers in the autonomous regions of Azores and Madeira have already won this fight.

“Teachers would not even understand if we made an agreement and left these matters out,” stressed Mário Nogueira, once again reinforcing the idea that the platform actually ‘desires’ an agreement: teachers have been demonstrating/ striking/ working to rule for longer than any of them could possibly ever have imagined: children are losing out ‘big time’ on education; parents are being driven to a frazzle.

The unions and the ministry started negotiating in September, recalls Lusa. No one could have foreseen they would still filing into meetings with bulging folders as Spring approached.

More meetings are scheduled for tomorrow, while agreement or no agreement, another ‘protest march’ called by the more radical S.T.O.P syndicate has been scheduled for what promises to be a cold and blustery Saturday in Lisbon.

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