Following the strike action on 4 September 2017, TUS reported that if no negotiations started until 15 September 2017 a regular strike would be organised in October 2017. Under the threat of a strike, the education trade union’s requests were adopted at the Republic Committee Board on 31 August 2017.
The Teachers Union of Serbia, TUS, one of the ETUCE affiliates in Serbia, and representatives from the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia have begun negotiations. In the first meeting on 14 September, the President of the education trade union, Mrs. Valentina Ilic, led the delegation on behalf of TUS. The Ministry was represented by Mr. Mladen Sarcevic, the Minister of Education himself.
Both parties agreed on the fact that an increase in education personnel’s salaries remained the most important issue at stake. According to TUS, the Minister promised to collect all relevant information on concrete solutions from different Ministries. It was also agreed that any education reform should be followed by adequate standards for education personnel.
It is expected that the regulation causing many issues of short term contracts in the education sector was to be cancelled as from the beginning of next year.
Additionally, it was decided to sign the already negotiated Collective Agreement for Higher Education as well as to start negotiations for new Collective Agreement for Elementary and Secondary Schools and Student Dormitories. The possibilities for centralised financing of preschool education was considered as an important issue too.
The next meeting is expected to be scheduled after 18 September 2017 during the start of the official communication between the Serbian Government and the IMF delegation.
Supporting the beginning of the negotiations, Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director said, “It is a good sign that both sides have come together to start negotiating. ETUCE wishes the colleagues in Serbia meaningful and effective discussions and a fruitful outcome of the negotiation process”.