Five thousand more Norwegian teachers to join month-long strike

published 11 August 2014 updated 12 August 2014

Striking Norwegian teachers are set to receive a wave of professional support as thousands of colleagues around the country prepare to take their place on the picket lines.

The strike that began with 36 Union of Education of Norway (UEN) teachers at one school in Bergen on the 1st of July is about to explode in size as 5,500 additional teachers from 130 secondary schools join the labour action Monday, August 11.

“This strike is about much more than the 7.5 hours,” said the President of UEN  Ragnhild Lied, referring to one controversial proposal that orders teachers to spend 7.5 hours of working time at school each day, which the union argues does not reflect the realities and demands of the profession. “We are on strike for the opportunity to do a good job, for more time to follow up each and every student and for time to prepare teaching and learning in the best possible way.”

In June, 73 percent of teachers voted against a proposed collective agreement, which they say threatens their professional autonomy and hinders their ability to deliver a quality education.

Despite opinion polls conducted earlier this summer showing that the public firmly stands behind the teachers, UEN has said that primary school teachers will report on the first day to ensure that 1st graders can go to class. However, if no resolution is reached the union says that all teachers are ready to strike.