(Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL) (Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL)

Union leaders, Sanja Šprem and Branimir Mihalinec, confirmed the news at a press conference in Zagreb, adding that the strike would continue until they were invited by the government to discuss increased salaries.

The strike and protests are a message to the government that the plan to increase base salaries for public sector employees did not mean that teachers' demands had been met, said Branimir Mihalinec. He added that higher salary increases were no longer just a union demand, but a demand by all employees in the primary and secondary school sector.

Fellow union leader Sanja Šprem said she took the PM's statement made in Parliament on Wednesday regarding pay raises for public sector workers to mean that there was money for widespread pay rises for everyone except for teachers.

"The responsibility for the continued strike rests solely with the Government," said Šprem. "They could have found a solution in time, but instead they chose to deceive us. This policy of 'divide and conquer' will not work on us, our assemblies, or our schools." 

Commenting on the government's announcement that base pay for workers in the state administration and public sector would be increased by 6.12 percent, unionists said they welcomed the move, but added that it did not resolve their demands.

For her part, Education Minister Blaženka Divjak agreed that teacher's demands had still not been met and that the decision to strike rested with unions and school employees.

Source: HRT