The Catalan teachers have confirmed the five days of strike with which they threatened weeks ago when they did not find a response from the Minister of Education to their demands. The progress of the school start, added to a whole series of grievances listed by the unions -from the reversal of certain cuts to the new curriculum-, has led them to officially call an unprecedented strike on March 15, 16 and 17 as well as on the 29th and 30th of the same month.
Catalonia cuts the summer school holidays by one week and will start the course on September 5
The unions that lead the protest are the vast majority: USTEC-STEs (IAC), CCOO, Intersindical-CSC, ASPEPC-SPS and UGT. During a meeting of the School Council of Catalonia held two weeks ago, the teachers’ associations and the family associations did not oppose the measure, but they did ask the Department of Education for a year to agree on it and apply it. But the response of the minister, Josep González Cambray, was that the measure was positive and they did not rethink it.
The unions insist that the school calendar, whose start is advanced to September 5 in Primary and 7 in Secondary, is just the straw that breaks the camel’s back of growing discontent in the sector, especially due to the lack of dialogue with Education. Among the measures included among their demands for the strike are the investment of 6% of GDP in education, the rethinking of the new curriculum, the rejection of the application of 25% of Spanish or the “stabilization” of the staff.
Regarding the novelties of the calendar, the teachers insist that they are not complaining because they are going to have fewer vacations –they will continue to start on the 1st–, but rather that there will be less time to prepare the course. However, the measure will be accompanied by the application of the intensive day throughout the month of September, with school hours until 1:30 p.m. and free extracurricular offer for those who want to stay from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.