Minister says that recovering teaching service time is the first step in valuing

Government reached an agreement yesterday with seven of the 12 union organizations

The Minister of Education, Science and Innovation (MECI) wrote to teachers after reaching an agreement with seven unions for the recovery of service time and assured that the measure represents the first step on a long path of appreciation.

In a letter addressed to teachers, to which Lusa had access, minister Fernando Alexandre writes that, from the first day in office, «it was clear that the restoration of frozen service time would be an indispensable first step towards a new life».

«The road is long and I know it well. We start now. I believe that this first step will contribute to a more peaceful school environment and I hope that we can look to the future with reinforced optimism», it reads.

The letter was sent after, on Tuesday, the Government reached an agreement with seven of the 12 union organizations representing teachers to recover the service time frozen during the 'Troika' intervention.

The return of six years, six months and 23 days – which has long been one of the main demands of teachers – was essential to enhance the teaching profession, argues the governor, who stresses that «Portugal cannot accept that its teachers feel devalued and unmotivated , rather than recognized by society».

“We must value teachers, we must improve their working conditions and we must promote their fair social recognition”, he adds.

Addressing professionals directly, Fernando Alexandre says he counts on teachers to «soon take new steps along this path of education».

The agreement for the recovery of service time was signed by the National Education Federation (FNE), the National Teaching and Research Federation (Fenei), the Independent Union of Teachers and Educators (SIPE), the Portuguese Federation of Education Professionals, Teaching, Culture and Research (Fepeci), by the National Union of Teachers Licensed by Polytechnics and Universities (Spliu), by the National Union of Licensed Teachers (SNPL) and by the Union of Educators and Teachers of Basic Education (Sippeb).

Left out were the National Federation of Teachers (Fenprof), the Union of All Education Professionals (Stop), Pró-Ordem, the Union of Educators and Licensed Teachers (SEPLEU) and the Association of Licensed Teachers Union (ASPL) , who will now evaluate the possibility of asking for an additional negotiation process to be opened.