German teachers call for reforms
Islam Times - Thousands of teachers have taken to the streets of the German capital to air their grievances over discrepancies in working hours and tough working conditions
Islam Times reports from Press TV: More than 4,000 teachers have laid down their work and flocked to the streets of Berlin as they cried foul against working for seven more hours per week as compared to their colleagues in other German states.
Protesters argue that there is still a wide discrepancy between salaries of state-employed and privately-employed teachers. They also called for root and branch reforms, including better working conditions for teachers as a viable solution to iron out the existing discrepancies.
"In the past, teachers over the age of 55 had to teach fewer hours; Berlin is the only state where this is not the case. This leads to premature health problems. We see a lot of people on sick leave. People love their jobs, but can't tolerate added pressure," Peter Sinram with Berlin Education and Science Trade Union told Press TV.
"The education senator of Berlin thinks we are not working enough; he is mistaken; he doesn't value our work the way I'd like him to," complained a disgruntled teacher.
Experts say the teaching profession is in dire need for younger teachers, while the state is unwilling to shed the working hours of older teachers thus providing little room for new arrivals.
However, Berlin's Senator for Education, Science and Research Jurgen Zollner says the negotiations between the state government and the unions in the past have yielded significant results.
He went on to elaborate on the outcome of talks by saying, "More teachers were deployed in difficult schools, the number of hours on duty has reduced to 26 in Berlin and this is at the cost of 4.3 million euros each year."
Story Code: 63502