Hospitals, public transportation and waste management also affected
Several schools across Portugal have closed or have been seriously affected by a public sector strike which is also affecting other public services, from hospitals and public transportation to waste management.
The strike was called one week away from the final voting on the 2023 State Budget proposal, which includes salary increases of at least €52 or 2% for public sector workers next year.
However, the Common Front of Unions (Frente Comum de Sindicatos) is calling for salary increases of at least 10% or €100 and believes there is still time to negotiate with the government before the vote.
Mário Nogueira, secretary-general of the national federation of teachers (FENPROF), says the government seems like it is “making fun of those who work” in the public sector.
“(The government) pompously announces the biggest increase of the decade, which isn’t hard because we had two years with no increases and two with 0.3% and 0.9% increases, and so 2% is more than those two increases.
“But what it should say is that workers will experience the largest salary cut of the decade, as their spending power is going to be devastated this year,” Nogueira told RTP, citing skyrocketing inflation.