School teachers and staff slow down in five cities | Education

Teachers and school staff will demonstrate this Monday, starting at 6:23 pm in a slow march that threatens to complicate circulation around some of the main bridges in cities such as Lisbon, Porto, Viana do Castelo, Almeirim and Portimão. The time set for the start of the protest “6:23 am” represents the six years, six months and 23 days of working time that the teachers saw frozen.

In addition to the lost service time, teachers and school staff will equip themselves with reflective vests and carnations to protest against “schools reduced to a minimum”, as Rui Foles, a teacher at the Monte da Caparica School Grouping, in Almada told PÚBLICO , one of the promoters of this new manifestation.

“There are schools with one operational assistant for every two hundred students or one psychologist for every thousand students. We will have non-professional teachers and some graduates who will be able to access a teaching career. We cannot agree with these ‘deposit schools’, which do not value the public school and those who work there”, added that teacher.

This Monday’s protest was initially called for Lisbon, where between 500 and 1,000 people are expected to gather on the Pragal Bridge and on the side pedestrian accesses to the 25 de Abril Bridge, from where they will then proceed at a slow pace to the statue of Christ Rei, in Pragal, in Almada.

In the case of Porto, the demonstrators will concentrate on the Arrábida Bridge, which connects Vila Nova de Gaia. In Viana do Castelo, the concentration will be on the Eiffel bridge and, in the case of Santarém, the march and the stoppage are scheduled for the D. Luís I Bridge, in Almeirim. From the Algarve, a car caravan leaving the cities of Lagos and Albufeira will travel along the National Road 125 to Portimão, where the meeting will take place next to the municipality. The teachers of Mirandela will also have been predisposed to join the protest, but this adhesion was still awaiting confirmation, at the beginning of the afternoon of this Sunday.

More support for the 811 directors

This protest, at a time when the prior notice of the strike by the Union of All Education Professionals (Stop) in force in schools until the end of March was extended until the 16th of April, coincides with the day that the Minister of Education, João Costa, will meet in Lisbon with representatives of the 811 directors of public schools.

On the table will be “the lack of support from the ministry to the directors” regarding the scheduling of the minimum services decreed for the Stop strike, advanced to PÚBLICO the president of the National Association of Directors of Groupings and Schools Schools, and the “dramatic moment that the public school is going through”

with difficulties in “imposing minimum services on colleagues”, Filinto Lima recalls that “the directors have to respond, civilly and criminally, and do not have, for example, any legal support from the guardianship”. ANDAEP also wants to warn João Costa that “every day that the problem is postponed and the impasse in the negotiations is a bad day for public schools”.

“This state of affairs does not bring any benefits to the Portuguese public school”, insists Filinto Lima, for whom the extension of the strike for an indefinite period called by Stop, which has also scheduled a teachers’ demonstration for the 25th of April, can only be be “a strategic error or naivety”. Why? “It is due to the characteristic of indefinite duration that this strike has had since the 9th of December that the DGAEP [Direcção-Geral da Administração e do Emprego Público] imposes the minimum services that prevent many teachers from going on strike”, he maintains.

For the representative of the directors of public schools, the division between the trade unions in the sector “is undermining the just demands of the teachers”. never,” he says.

new negotiating round

On Wednesday, remember, the Minister of Education will meet again with the teachers’ unions, starting a new negotiating round to discuss issues such as quotas and vacancies in access to the different levels that have been contested by the unions .

The teaching career has ten levels and access to the different levels is currently conditioned by the existence of quotas in the attribution of performance grades to teachers (and in each school only 25% of teachers can have the mentions of “Very Good” and “Excellent” , which means that, when this limit is exceeded, a teacher who has had one of those ratings sees it artificially cut to “Good”). These quotas apply when accessing the 5th and 7th career steps.

The second obstacle to progression in the teaching career relates to the annual setting of a limited number of vacancies for progression, which means that teachers who are in a position to progress can only do so if the Government opens vacancies for this purpose. . At the meeting on the 22nd, which should, according to João Costa’s forecast, inaugurate “a new phase of dialogue with the unions”, topics such as the excessive bureaucratic burden that hangs over teachers and the regularization of professional bonds should also be addressed. like psychologists and speech therapists in schools.

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