Slovak teachers launch inconvenient strike for Smer

By bne IntelliNews January 25, 2016

Around 11,500 Slovak teachers from more than 700 schools went on strike on January 25, demanding higher salaries and a clean up of the education system. An estimated 2,000 teachers also took part in a protest in Bratislava.

The action comes less than two months before the general elections and has the potential to prove inconvenient for the ruling Smer party as it chases a second single-party majority. Prime Minister Robert Fico has successfully focused the campaign on the migrant crisis. His hardline stance has helped revive support that just 12 months ago was faltering over issues including education and healthcare.

Teachers are asking for a €140 salary monthly hike this year and another €90 rise in 2017. Fico has said the situation can be addressed only after the March 5 vote. He also claims Smer already increased teachers’ salaries by 26% during his first term as PM in 2006-2010 and 22% since its landslide victory over the disgraced right wing parties that formed the coalition until 2012.

"There's no other profession in public administration that has had salaries raised between 2012-2016 in such a way," Fico claimed, according to TASR news agency. He confirmed, however, that if he is a part of the new government, he would like to continue to raise teachers' salaries.

The teacher strike follows protests in the healthcare system. Nearly 1,000 nurses and midwives have handed in their resignation notices in recent months, unhappy with salaries and the lack of money in the system, as well as the "inefficient use of funds".

"For four years we've been negotiating, writing petitions ... but this government has only ignored us,” Nurses and Midwives Chamber (SKSaPA) president Iveta Lazorova said on January 25.

Corruption in the healthcare system has a hot political issue for Smer. In 2014, Pavol Paska, Smer's second-in-command - was forced to resign following a scandal related to a shady tender at a provincial hospital. The health minister was also sacrificed as protesters rallied in Bratislava. Current healthcare minister Viliam Cislak has already survived two no-confidence votes connected to claims of corruption from the opposition.

The only realistic question in the upcoming election is whether Smer will repeat its success of 2012 and form a government on its own. The focus on the migrant crisis has done much to shore up flagging support, with recent polls suggesting Smer currently stands just below the 76 seat threshold.

Related Articles

UniCredit reportedly in talks to sell Czech/Slovak unit

UniCredit is in talks with two local suitors over the sale of the Italian bank’s Czech/Slovak business, local media reported on March 27. The claim remains only speculation, but if accurate, it ... more

Poland isolated again as it threatens to block EU declaration

Poland will not sign the Rome Declaration if its demands for moulding the EU’s future are not reflected in the document, Prime Minister Beata Szydlo threatened on March 23. The statement could ... more

EU asks CEE to comment on Russian gas promises

The European Commission has invited comments from Central & Eastern European states on proposals put forward by Russian gas giant Gazprom to meet competition concerns. Visegrad and the Baltic ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss