Speaking to journalists, at the end of an initiative in the former royal arena, next to the Palace of Belém, in Lisbon, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa defended that this "is a crucial period in terms of the school year" and that "it is fundamental that there are conditions so that schools can function".

According to the head of state, "everything that can be a quick clarification of what is legal or not legal [in the teachers' strikes] and whether or not there are minimum services is fundamental".

The President of the Republic stressed that strikes are "subject to prior notice" and considered that "in advance" one should have sought to "know what is the applicable law to a possible suspension of activity by teachers or by part of the non-teaching staff".

"What does that mean? Legally knowing whether it is possible to resort to minimum services, first, under what conditions, under what terms; and whether certain forms of labour action fit the law or do not," he specified.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said he hoped for an opinion from the PGR's Advisory Board "as soon as possible", but made a point of stressing that "the PGR could not be taking the initiative before asking for an opinion".

On Wednesday, in response to Lusa, the Ministry of Education announced that it had requested a "legal opinion from the PGR on the legality of the form of execution of the ongoing teachers' strikes, convened by STOP [Union of All Education Professionals] and by SIPE [Independent Union of Teachers and Educators]".

The ministry supervised by João Costa said it had also asked the State's Center for Legal Competences for an opinion.

STOP has called for an indefinite strike that started on December 9, which should last at least until the end of this month, and is organising a march for Saturday in Lisbon.

SIPE called a partial strike for the first week of classes in the 2nd period, which it decided to extend until February.

Between January 16th and February 8th, a district strike will be held, called by eight union structures, including SIPE and the National Federation of Teachers (Fenprof).

Related articles: