Will the classrooms, classrooms or corridors of secondary, primary and kindergarten schools become orphans on November 27? The exact answer to the question is still unclear in the Liberec Region.
However, some of the school principals interviewed readily admit that if they do join the all-day warning strike, they will not do so because of teacher salaries, but because of cuts in the so-called PHmax. Which is, simply put, the number of hours of teaching for which money from the state budget goes. The government wants to make cuts here as well. There is a risk of limiting the offer of optional subjects, canceling the teaching of a second language or laboratory exercises. And schools would probably have to resort to firing teachers.
Director of the Gymnasium Dr. Antona Randa in Jablonec nad Nisou Tomáš Hofrichter said that if savings were to be made in this area, it would return schools to the past.
“This takes away the quality of the schools, we would be teaching again like somewhere in the nineties. We would not be able to share class hours, offer modern seminars, we would not get any outside experts here. It seems to me that they are saving money in the wrong place. This would possibly be the only reason why we would go on strike, but it would have to be well explained to the public, so that they don’t think that we are the ones who, in quotation marks, are not greedy, who want as much as possible for themselves under the current situation,” commented Hofrichter.
They certainly won’t be on strike over pay
He also added that he just wants to introduce the subject of the strike to the teaching staff. “So we don’t know now whether we will go to it. But we will definitely not go on strike for our salaries. In these economically critical times, that would be unreasonable, and the vast majority of colleagues understand it that way,” the director pointed out.
Martin Kubáč, director of the Jablonec Secondary School of Crafts and Services, shares a similar opinion. “The limitation of PHmax can greatly affect professional schools in particular. If we teach another thirty students in a class, we will no longer pay attention to them individually, we are going back not a step, but a leap back. We are returning to face-to-face teaching,” said Kubáč, adding that if the school were to participate in the protest, it would most likely not be for the whole day, but only symbolically, for the first lesson.
“We will talk more about it. But I don’t like the word strike too much, the whole thing should be aimed at negotiations, at an agreement. When there is a strike, we will create a problem especially for parents. It would still be possible here, the children here are big, but elementary and kindergarten schools are in a worse situation.”
There are more bet variants
This is confirmed, for example, by the director of the Českolip kindergarten Šikulka Šárka Malá. “We can’t afford to go on strike, our parents would see us off. They would have to arrange for babysitting or take time off from work. That’s not possible,” she said.
And how do some of the other approached schools react to the strike? For example, in the Skálova Elementary School in Turnov, they still have no idea. “I don’t know if we will get involved, I, as director, will not initiate anything. If the teachers decide to go on strike, or who will go on strike, they have to tell me in time, but I don’t have such information yet. However, the operation of the school would not be closed completely, we would limit it. For example, only the first grade will go to school, there are more options,” said director Michal Loukota.
At the Secondary Glassmaking School of Arts and Crafts in Železné Brod, they indicate that they may join the protest. “We have a trade union here, its chairman should express this. We assume that we will get involved, but I am not competent and I am not the chairman of the trade union organization,” explained school director Jan Hásek. For example, the Českolip Gymnasium or the Klášterní Kindergarten in Liberec are also waiting for an official opinion from the trade unions or the pedagogical council.
The Litoměřice grammar school moved to the monastery building due to reconstruction. The beautiful building, which had not been used for years, attracted the attention of the students, but also caused them embarrassment (September 5, 2023):