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Macedonia: Teachers achieve new collective agreement, strike is over

published 3 December 2008 updated 3 December 2008

Leaders of the Trade Union of Employees in Education, Science and Culture (SONK) and representatives of the Macedonian education authorities reached an accord 3 December, bringing to an end the strike which had closed elementary and secondary schools since 24 November.

SONK President Dojcin Cvetanoski said that the new collective agreements represent a compromise solution, but union members are very happy with what was accomplished because the government was ultimately compelled to respond to SONK’s demands. A strong impetus to the negotiations came from Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who publicly condemned the fact that pressure was being exerted on teacher union members. He urged the ministers and union leaders to get back to the bargaining table and resolve the strike in a mutually agreeable fashion.

Cvetanoski said that in the next few days, SONK will conduct an analysis of the most serious cases of repression and violation of members’ rights during the strike, and examine the possibility of filing a request to relevant state institutions to identify, accuse and sanction the perpetrators of the gravest violations.

Cvetanoski, on behalf of SONK members, expressed gratitude for EI’s solidarity and support in helping to win this serious battle.