André Pestana
"Let's see who gives in first", André Pestana - of the most radical syndicate S.T.O.P - has challenged the government, saying "there are always millions (of euros) available for the banks and political 'boys'" Image: António Cotrim/ Lusa

S.T.O.P extends strike to April 16; marks new date for ‘large demo’ in Lisbon

Poll suggests majority of Portuguese support teachers

No sooner had yesterday’s mass demo in Lisbon started disbanding, than syndicates were planning their ‘next steps’.

The teachers’ struggle for better pay/ conditions and the restitution of time in which their careers were ‘frozen’, continues. In spite of roughly five months of negotiations, an end to this particular struggle is far from over.

S.T.O.P – the most radical syndicate in recent strike actions – has vowed to continue various forms of strike action until April 16 (previously, the strikes were to have stopped on March 31).

S.T.O.P’s leader André Pestana insists that there is “always millions for bankers, public-private partnerships, fat compensation and partisan ‘boys’” but never any money in the kitty public services. And according to a poll published today, 72% of the population see the teachers’ struggle as eminently justified – whereas a poll in January suggested only 60% of the country was on the teachers’ side.

Thus the next few weeks will continue to see various forms of strike action, tempered by ‘minimum service’ rules (requiring three lesson periods for pupils per day).

April 25 (Liberty Day) has been set for a new demonstration in Lisbon, to which syndicates are appealing for “civic society” to take part.

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