Yesterday, on 4 September 2017, the Teachers’ Union of Serbia, TUS, organised a warning strike in more than 650 elementary and secondary schools in Serbia. With that action, the union demanded to:

- raise salaries in the education sector to a level above the country’s official average salary;

- withdraw the Law on Employees in the public services, as well as the Law on the Basics of Education, since many regulations infringe the rights of employees in the education sector.

TUS informed that salaries in education are 16% below than the average salary of employees in Serbia, i.e. 357 € according to July 2017 estimations.

The proposed Law on Employees in public services and the Law on Basics of Education significantly deteriorate the situation of education personnel and make way for dismissals without adequate benefits and protection of employees.

TUS stated: “Should no negotiations with the government leading to concrete outcomes take place, the Teachers’ Union of Serbia announces a regular strike according to the Law on Strike on 6 October 2017”.

The warning strike was supported by the unions’ affiliates in preschool education, student dormitories, and members in higher education.

Giving her support to the cause, Susan Flocken, European Director, said “We believe that the Serbian government has to take the education personnel’s demands serious. We wish TUS the best of success”.

Earlier this year, ETUCE joined the European trade union movement’s call for an increase in minimum wages for Europe’s workers, including for teachers and education personnel. The ETUC “Pay Rise Campaign” advocates for a general raise in salaries especially in Eastern European countries, to halt the alarmingly big east-west pay gap.