Some 40 thousand protesters gathered on Thursday at noon on Zagreb's St. Mark's square in front of the government and parliament buildings.
The aim of the massive gathering, organized by the country's two largest unions representing teachers and workers in education system, was to put pressure on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and his government to raise salaries for around 1500 teachers by 6%.
Union leaders, Branimir Mihalinec and Sanja Šprem, were given an audience with prime minister Plenković, Education Minister Blazenka Divjak, and Labour and Pension System Minister Josip Aladrović.
Minister Divjak said following the meeting that they had agreed on several issues: namely, that education was a priority and that government was an active participant. They agreed that since teachers were the ones to be implementing the sweeping curricular reforms this new school year, they should be supported and provided with the conditions necessary to perform their duties. At the same time, the minister said a follow-up meeting between the parties would be held in roughly ten days' time, where, according to the minister, concrete decisions would be made.
For their part, union leaders said the main conclusion was that discussions would continue. He added that since the government accepted their request for a face-to-face meeting today, there was no need to call a general strike with the new school year only four days away.
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