Protest action in Slovenia


On 9 March 2022 a general strike of the whole education sector took place in Slovenia, with teachers and education personnel from early childhood education up  to higher education protesting against the unfair treatment of the education sector employees. Over the last five years, salaries of education and training professionals have increased at a slower rate compared to other public sector workers. The demonstration showed the widespread discontent towards the Slovenian government’s attitude and lack of respect towards teachers’ work and the teaching profession in general. 

ETUCE fully supports the collective action taking place and endorses the eight strike demands put forward by ESTUS. Among other things, ESTUS’ goal is to reinstate appropriate ratios between comparable jobs, which have been demolished through unilateral decision-making. These demands highlight the need to increase the salary of education personnel and respect collective agreements already in place. However, it is most important that the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on the teaching profession be recognised, and a  payment be allocated to compensate for the increased volume of work and working hours, along with the additional pedagogical obligations put on teachers.

During the general strike, staff at schools and kindergartens protested at their workplace by leaving the classroom at designated times and showing their backs to the schools as a sign of discontent. In higher education institutions lectures, research and other activities were also suspended, except for pre-scheduled exams and presentations, and essential clinical training. These actions were supported by the wider community, and endorsement from management in higher education institutions was cited, along with significantly less children attending primary and secondary schools that day. Education trade unions are expressing that the strike will continue until their demands are met, which will impact hundreds of thousands of students. ESTUS is yet to determine if action will continue under the current government, or whether to resume talks until after a new government is formed from the general election on 24 April 2022.

Teachers should be paid appropriately for the work that they do, and it is important for the Slovenian government to acknowledge this.