Teachers’ trade union PSZ has called a demonstration for November 30, union leader Zsuzsanna Szabó announced. Negotiations with the government aimed at pay hikes and reducing the burden on teachers have proved futile, Szabó said. The government is not committed to solving the problems of the education sector, Szabó said. “Teachers are expected to resolve social problems while they are denied adequate wages or appreciation,” she said. PSZ deputy leader Tamás Totyik said that despite the government’s figures teachers’ wages “have never been this far from the national average” and added that the wages of career starters were below the guaranteed wage minimum.
The human resources and innovation ministries said in a joint statement that the demonstration would “serve political purposes of the opposition” and those of “the Soros network” rather than promote the interests of teachers or children. The ministries insisted in their statement that “more money than ever” is being spent on the education sector, including teachers’ pay. They added that the government had increased teachers’ wages by an average 50%, while teachers in vocational training would benefit from another 30% rise from January. The statement also said that recent changes to the legal status of teachers would ensure “more flexible employment conditions” for them, which “the unions don’t like”.