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Archive photo: Mário Cruz/ Lusa

Over 115 schools closed today; hundreds more “at half throttle”

Platform of nine teaching syndicates vows to lodge appeal against ‘minimum services’ set by Court of Arbitration

More than 115 schools have been closed today, and hundreds more are “working at half throttle” due to the strike called by teachers and non-teaching staff aligned with S.T.O.P.

And while S.T.O.P has insisted that strikes are “guaranteed until the end of the month”, the platform of nine teachers syndicates led by Fenprof has said it will be appealing the  ruling by the Court of Appeal for minimum services during strikes planned to disrupt end of year exams and final evaluations.

S.T.O.P’s contention throughout these long months marked by stop-start education that his members’ struggle is “a fight in favour of public (meaning State) school“.

“We do not admit that the public school becomes a depository of children, who quickly and superficially go through school to later have a precarious job for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Fenprof’s focus is very much the same, though it has concentrated less on the ‘superficiality’ of State education and more on the unacceptable pay and conditions of those who work in it.

Insisting that decreeing ‘minimum services’ is akin to a civil requisition, the platform has accused arbitration judges of “disrespect for existing jurisprudence” (referring to instances in the past where minimum services were deemed illegal).

Bottom line: the teachers’ struggle “cannot stop” (because syndicates feel the government is not listening to them) and will not stop”.

The stand may come as a slap in the face to school directors, whose representative Filinto Lima only recently accused unions of “trivialising the right to strike” and so, in fact, “reducing credibility” of their causes.

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