Despite the fact that the notices given extend until Sunday, today is the last working day of a stoppage that brought together teachers and non-teaching workers, and which, especially in the first weeks, led to the closure of several schools.
A “citizenship lesson”: this is how the coordinator of STOP, André Pestana, described the protest, defending, from the beginning, that it was not the strike that harmed students' learning, but the worsening shortage of teachers.
Among the main demands, they claimed the counting of all service time (six years, six months and 23 days), the end of vacancies for access to the 5th and 7th echelons and better working and salary conditions, also for non-teaching workers, who were later included in the strike.
Faced with the instability created in schools and the uncertainty of the strike, with no end in sight, the Ministry of Education ended up asking that minimum services be enacted, which were set by the arbitral tribunal.
The minimum services came into force after the second month of the strike and were successively extended by the court, which later included teaching activities (at least three hours of classes or teaching time per day).
The end of the strike for an indefinite period does not, however, mean the end of the fight for Stop, which has already called for a new national strike for April 24th, 26th, 27th and 28th. On the 25th of April, the union returns to the streets with a demonstration in Lisbon, the fifth since December.
“It was decided, with the strike committees, to suspend [the indefinite strike] on April 16, but they also left open, because negotiations continue, new forms of struggle that were necessary”, explained Carla Piedade, from the direction of Stop, to Lusa.