Massive teachers protests had happened today in Krakow, Poland. This action was a part of nationwide “italian strike”, started at the end of October.
National stike started in 23th of October. On that day they received permission from Polish teachers union right to choose any form of protest that seems favorable to them. Such decision was made by 55,3% voters of special strike referendum, which lasted for nearly 2 months. Some of the voters described this result as “symbolic act of powerlesness”, pointing on necessity of conducting national strike.
In spite of outcome of negotiations with Ministry of education, which brought no result – in 2020 yearly budget not a word was found about raising teachers wages. This forced teachers union to take action, so aside from traditional “italian strike” methods, union members will organize monthly manifestations in various Polish cities.
“Inspired by example of Krakow union branch, we’ve decided to organize regular protest actions on 8th of every month, because in 8th of April started biggest national strike of teachers in country’s history. The goal of this strike was to show authorities that there is no thing as important as good quality education! Together we will remind it to them on a monthly basis” – said leader of Polish teachers union Slavomir Bronyacz.
According to protesters, next wave of protests will take place in Krakow, Gdansk, Katowitce and other cities. Adam Sosnowski, leader of Liublin branch of teachers union complained about remarks in current budget legislation, that states “increase in government spending on education approved only untill 31th of December” of this year. If authorities are not willing to give any guarantees, it leaves no other option to teachers except fighting for their rights.
“Since there is no mention of 6% increase of teachers salaries in 2020 budget, we have no other option but fight back, taking our protests on the streets, struggling for a better lives. At 12th of November we will decide upon which form of protest action will help us to protect our interests”- told Sosnowski.
Such events in Poland clearly shows that under capitalism people must fight for decent wages. Neoliberal spending policies, which hit social spending the most were conducted by Polish authorities, and that forced teachers to fight them back. History teaches us if masses are able to make a maximum effort they will succeed inevitably, so we’re wishing good luck and godspeed to our Polish brothers and sisters in their struggle!