North Macedonia: 1st day of strike for higher salaries and better working conditions for teachers


ETUCE expresses its concern about the ongoing negotiations between the Autonomous Trade Union for Education, Science and Culture (SONK) and the North Macedonian Government on raising of teachers’ salaries, which are currently below the national average wage.

The negotiations were recently relaunched in an attempt to reach higher standards for teachers’ salaries. Unfortunately, despite the announced general strike by SONK on Monday 11 April 2022, the offer that the Government proposed to SONK was inappropriate and ETUCE supports SONK in its call to the Government to make more efforts to solve the problem and to come up with a concrete proposal.

''Strike is always the last resort when negotiations fail. We therefore, together with you, call on the government of North Macedonia to make an appropriate and meaningful proposal for an increase of teachers’ salaries on the basis of which negotiations with SONK can resume'', said Susan Flocken, ETUCE Europen Director.

Teachers in North Macedonian schools have been tirelessly ensuring a continuous service during the tough times of the pandemic and have experienced a deterioration of their working conditions due to these circumstances. We believe that these negotiations are the best opportunity for the Ministry of Education to appropriately recognise and value the role and the efforts of schoolteachers. We point out the importance of guaranteeing adequate working conditions to teachers, thus salaries respecting the increase in accordance with the increase of minimum wage level to provide a high-quality public service to pupils and students.

Furthermore, the European Pillar of Social Right Action Plan sets objectives for EU Member States, of absolute relevance to candidate countries as well, such as the reduction of early school leaving, a higher participation in upper secondary education, and better reconciliation between professional and private life of teachers and supporting stronger labour market participation of women. These goals cannot be reached without the improvement of working and salary conditions for teachers.

We fully support the request by SONK to negotiate with the Government higher salaries and better working conditions for North Macedonian teachers.