The Council of Schools (CE), which is the body that represents the directors before the Ministry of Education (ME), assumed, this Thursday, the main demands of the unions and teachers, among which is the recovery of the time of service provided during the career freeze years.
And the first position taken by the Council of Schools during these more than two months of protests in schools and on the street. In a unanimously approved resolution, the EC plenary, which met extraordinarily this Thursday, “recommends to the Government that the scope of the ongoing negotiation process [com os sindicatos] be extended” in order to allow “the creation of structural conditions tending to the recovery of the length of service provided by all teachers; changing the teaching performance evaluation process”, as well as “extending the number of vacancies for access to the 5th and 7th career levels”, among other demands.
The 28 directors elected to the CE specify that this recommendation takes into account the “complexity of the situation in schools” and that the proposals presented aim to “preserve a quality public school, guarantee of equity and social justice”. The document was approved a few hours before the prime minister ruled out, again, the possibility of recovering the approximately six years of work of teachers who continue to be ignored for the purposes of career progression.
In an interview with TVI, on the eve of yet another round of negotiations, the prime minister stressed that, if he wanted to give all other careers the equivalent of the six years, six months and 24 days that teachers claim, that would have a cost which was 1300 million euros of permanent expenditure every year”. “I don’t see that the country is in a position to add 1.3 billion euros of permanent expenditure forever,” he concluded.
Despite acknowledging that this is the “most complicated” issue in the dispute between the Government and teachers’ unions, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has drawn attention, on several occasions, to the need to reach an agreement in education.
Local advice without “benefits”
In the recommendation to the Government, the EC also defends “the elimination of the proposal to create any local councils for the management of teachers, whose implementation seems to be too complex, not allowing to see significant benefits”. The creation of these local councils of directors, as the ME first called them, is contemplated in the new model of recruitment and management of teachers presented by the ministry, being one of the main points of contention in the negotiations with the unions that continue this Friday.
The School Council expressed, by the way, “its concern with the dissatisfaction of the teaching class, whose contestation reached the maximum exponent on the 11th of February”, the date of the demonstration that brought together more than 100,000 teachers in Lisbon, stressing that it considers “ urgent” that schools “regain serenity and energy to fulfill their mission”.
The presidents of the two associations of directors have also already expressed their support for the main claims presented by the teachers.
The Union of All Education Professionals (Stop) announced, this Friday, the holding of a new demonstration in Lisbon on the 25th. which the Ministry of Education has also required minimum services, as has happened with the stoppages called by Stop.