The Arbitration Court decreed minimum services for the teachers’ strikes called by the platform of nine union organizations for the 2nd and 3rd of March, according to the judgment published this Monday.
The strike takes place on two separate days, first in schools in the north and center, on Thursday, and then in schools in the south of the country.
had already been decreed minimum services for those days, but the previous decision, referring to the period between February 27th and March 10th, referred only to the strike for an indefinite period by the Union of All Education Professionals (Stop).
According to the judgment published this Monday, the arbitration college established, by majority decision, the same set of minimum services for the strike called by the union platform, which includes the national federations of Teachers (Fenprof) and Education (FNE).
Schools will then have to ensure three hours of classes in pre-school and 1st cycle, as well as three daily teaching times per class in 2nd and 3rd cycles and secondary education, in order to guarantee, on a weekly basis, coverage of different disciplines.
In addition to classes, support should also be guaranteed for students who benefit from additional measures within the scope of inclusive education, therapeutic support, support for students in vulnerable situations, the reception of students in the units integrated in the Learning Support Centers and the continuity of measures aimed at socio-emotional well-being.
On the 17th of February, Fenprof’s general secretary had already contested the Ministry of Education’s request that they be enacted minimum services for the strike by regions.
On the occasion, Mário Nogueira said that the union organizations would ask for the resignation of the Minister of Education, in case there were minimum services for the strikes in the regions and the court later considered them illegal.
This is what happened in 2018, when the federation also resorted to the courts to halt minimum services, and the decision of the courts in favor of the union came after the strikes and the call for minimum services.
In the ruling, the arbitration college justifies the decision by referring to the current contestation context, marked by strikes in the education sector that have lasted since December, and underlining that, although the carrying out of exams, provided for in the labor law, is not at issue as pressing social needs, the lasting nature of the shutdowns hampers the work required to prepare these assessments.
And as for the union platform strike, he argues that “it cannot be seen just as a one-day strike that will only cause the usual and legitimate disturbances that any strike always causes”. On the other hand, he adds, it is “one more strike in a sum of strikes that, as a whole, already threaten to jeopardize the right to education”.