Education International
Education International

Macedonia: The Government is cheating teachers

published 9 May 2006 updated 9 May 2006

EI has been informed that the Government of Macedonia is not intending to honour the wage deal it reached with the teachers' union SONK in February 2006 to be implemented tomorrow, May 10.

Officials of the Ministries of Education and Finance of Macedonia visited the offices of SONK (Trade Union of Education, Science and Culture) on 9 May, to inform the President of SONK, Dojcin Cvetanovski, that the Government considers it made a mistake in calculating the wage proposal agreed earlier.

As a result, government officials confessed the wage agreement will not materialise tomorrow when teachers will be expecting their first paychecks with increases.

The representatives of the Government argued that the wage agreement would cost more than they had envisioned. They asked SONK to lower the coefficients in the job categories so that teachers would receive less than what was agreed to and signed by the government and Prime minister in February of 2006.

SONK held an emergency meeting at noon with some of their regional presidents. They rejected the Government's demand, and accused the authorities of trying to renege on the collective bargaining agreement including the wage agreement signed with SONK. The teachers' union also warned the Government of their intention to organise a demonstration on May 24.

Analysts believe the Government is taking revenge against SONK for publicly criticising aspects of the new education law. In truth, SONK said that it had not been informed, let alone consulted, about the new law which will affect the working conditions of teachers.

EI wrote to the Prime Minister of Macedonia to deplore the violation of the collective agreement.