The ongoing strike of education-sector employees is set to continue until at least the end of the week, and whether it continues after Friday will depend on if striking unions accept the government's latest offer of a 10.4% percent wage increase.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković explained that wages for education-sector workers would be increased in four phases. And if accepted, the deal would represent a 23.1% total salary raise for teachers during the current government's mandate.
According to the deal tabled on after marathon talks on Tuesday night, wages would be increased by 3% on December 1st; 2% on January 1st, 2020; 3% on June 1st; and by a further 2% on October 1st.
Union leader Branimir Mihalinec declined to say whether he was satisfied with the government’s offer, while maintaining that it was not what the unions had asked for. He said that he would leave it up to members to vote on in a union-wide referendum to be held on Wednesday and Thursday.
Unions are insisting on an increase to the job complexity index - a move he says that will put teachers more in line with other public sector workers - while the government wants to postpone negotiations on the complexity index until after parliamentary elections next year in order to avoid politicizing the issue.
Meanwhile, there is increasing speculation that unions may in fact reject the government's offer. On Wednesday morning, photos were posted on the Facebook page of the Croatian Teachers Union showing teachers with signs saying 'No' to the government's offer.
Education Minister Baženka Divjak said that due to the strike, which entered its 33rd day on Wednesday, students' time away from the classroom would be compensated for by prolonging the academic year and making holidays shorter.
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