Education unions handed out 569 strike notices last school year

According to data from the Directorate-General for Administration and Public Employment

Unions linked to education delivered, on average, three strike notices for each day of classes in the last academic year, reveal official data that indicate that the services received 569 strike notices.

Between September 2022 and June 2023, unions delivered 569 strike notices, according to data from the General Directorate of Administration and Public Employment (DGAEP) analyzed by Lusa.

Between September and December 2022, DGAEP received 91 advance notices and, between January and June 2023, another 478 advance notices, with emphasis on the months of January (86) and April (137).

These strikes encompass all levels of education and establishments, from daycare centers to higher education, as well as all education professionals, from educational assistants to teachers, but the vast majority of these actions affected students in pre-school, basic and secondary education.

The demand for the counting of six years, six months and 23 days of frozen service for teachers and strikes by non-teaching staff for salary increases and the end of precariousness marked the day-to-day life of schools in the last academic year.

On average, more than three strike notices were given for each day of classes for compulsory education students, as they had all had less than 180 days of classes.

Pre-school and 1st cycle children, who spend the longest time at school, had 178 days of classes in the 2022/2023 school year, as opposed to 9th, 11th and 12th graders. .th year, who end the school year early to prepare for national exams (they had 162 days of classes).

However, advance notice of a strike is not synonymous with closed schools or students without classes, as it is always dependent on the support of education professionals and, according to the Minister of Education João Costa, the majority of strikes had “rates completely residual adhesion”.

The exception, explained the government official at the end of last week, were the strikes called by the union platform that includes the National Federation of Teachers (FENPROF) and the National Education Federation (FNE), which were regional strikes lasting a few days.

The Union of All Education Professionals (Stop) was the one that marked the most strikes, having called an indefinite strike that lasted several months of the last academic year. But, according to João Costa, participation in the strikes “on most days did not reach 1%”.

However, in this new school year, which began less than two months ago, school professionals have already mobilized in strikes and protests and are preparing for another two weeks of strikes, called by Stop, between the 13th and 29th of November.

According to DGAEP data, 98 strike notices have been received since July: 11 July, 5 in August, 43 in September and 39 in October.

In this year 2023 alone, 576 strike notices were received between January and October, with Education being the area with the most strikes called.