The Generalitat considers the negotiations with the unions broken for now after months of conflict and a five-day strike in March. Those responsible for the Department of Education believed that they had an agreement within reach when, according to what they say, they perceived that a key demand was the reduction of one hour of class for teachers to return to the conditions prior to the cuts. Thus, after several proposals, they came to put on the table the reduction for Primary for the 2022-2023 academic year and, for Secondary, in 2023-2024. But the representatives of the workers demanded that it be the entire course that comes and, therefore, there has been no agreement. This Tuesday the templates for the coming course have been published on the internal portal of the centers and there is no turning back.
Josep González-Cambray: “In the next courses we will have more Catalan than there is now”
This time it has been the Department of Education who has accused the unions of being inflexible, since they regret that they have not accepted any of their proposals. They have also reproached them for having given way to many of their demands, such as the reduction of ratios – to 20 next year in Infantil 3 – or the elimination of thirds of the day. The last proposal was worked from the Department of Education during the days of Easter and moved on Friday to the unions, who were summoned to a sectoral table on Monday. But they did not show up, according to Education. “With this proposal we hoped to reach an agreement. It hurts us a lot, because we understand that there is a conflict and we want to find a way out”, said Dolors Collell, General Director of Teachers and Staff of Public Education Centers.
The reduction in teaching hours for 2022-2023 in the case of Primary teachers meant an extra contribution from Education of 67.1 million euros, distributed between the budgets for this year and the next. In addition, it would have meant the incorporation of 1,400 new teachers in the system. In the case of Secondary, scheduled for the following year, there would have been about 2,000 teachers at a rate of about 100 million.
Those responsible for Education have assured that they will continue working with the unions to reach an agreement, but in view of what has happened, they rule out that it may come soon, since the reduction in teaching hours will no longer be next year. With the failed pact, the Generalitat also aspired to calm the spirits of some unions that have intensified their protests to the point of boycotting acts by Minister Josep González-Cambray, as happened on Monday in the Auditorium of the University of Barcelona (UB).
What they did have clear from Education is that they were not going to give in on the issue of the calendar, the measure that ended up igniting the spirits of the unions, and that consisted of bringing forward the start of classes in September by five days and that month of intensive day in schools and institutes. In return, there is a commitment to advance the appointments of the interim staff so that they can prepare the classes for the following course during the first days of July. The unions request the withdrawal of this proposal, on which the School Council ruled in favor, although claiming that it be postponed for at least one year because it was not discussed or agreed with the educational community.