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Slovenia Teachers strike for decent pay

THOUSANDS of teachers rallied in Slovenia yesterday to demand higher wages in the latest in a series of strikes and protests by public-sector workers.

Most schools were closed as 40,000 teachers took part in a one-day strike, following earlier walkouts by health workers, firefighters and police.

More than 10,000 people gathered in the capital Ljubljana, carrying union banners, flags and balloons. Workers were bussed in from all over the country.

Teachers demanded that their salaries — around €920 (£820) a month for junior teachers and €1,200 (£1,070) a month on average — be brought in line with those of other public-sector workers.

“Why is teaching work worth €500 (£450) less than the work of others with the same level of education in other areas of the public sector?” union leader Branimir Strukelj asked.

Christine Blower, a former leader of Britain’s NUT who heads the European TUC education committee, came with messages of solidarity.

“Your demands are fair and just,” Ms Blower told the cheering crowd. “You must win, you have the arguments!”

Unions are demanding that wages held back by austerity measures from 2013 be restored.


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