Unions representing teachers in public primary and secondary schools rejected the government’s latest offer to end their strike, describing it as less than what they were offered last week.
Unions said the strike, which has now lasted for 24 days, will continue and that negotiations are suspended.
The sides met on Wednesday to continue negotiations over a pay raise for education workers. The government has offered to give teachers, along with all other public sector workers, an incremental 6.12% raise. Teachers have rejected this idea, arguing that an across the board raise does not change the fact that they are paid less than other equally qualified public service workers because their salary coefficients are lower. Unions wanted a 6.7% raise to their salary coefficient in addition to the base salary raise. The government also offered to conduct a review of the entire public sector salary system to see if their claims about the coefficient were legitimate. They were also willing to pledge that if nothing has changed by June 30 of next year, all education workers would get a 2% bonus on their salaries. Additionally, the government agreed to pay teachers for the time they were on strike up until November 15.
Union leader Branimir Mihalinec said the offer was extremely disappointing, given that last week, the government had offered to raise their coefficients by 2%.
“This offer is less than what we had asked our members to vote on and which they resolutely rejected. We are disappointed. Croatia doesn’t deserve this government,” Mihalinec said.
The strike will continue and negotiations with the government are suspended until further notice, he said.