The difficult period that had started with a big convention in Ljubljana in October 2017, continued this year with two strikes, complex negotiations and the resignation of the Slovenian Prime Minister, has been successfully ended.

The Education, Science and Culture Trade Union of Slovenia (ESTUS), ETUCE member organisation in Slovenia, succeeded in raising teachers’ salaries and celebrates its victory.

With the agreed pay rise and signed agreement, ESTUS has fulfilled and included all the demands that were previously agreed upon and negotiated with the former Prime Minister, who resigned just before signing and concluding the agreement earlier in spring”, explained ESTUS General Secretary, Branimir Štrukelj.

ESTUS reports that 306 million euros are to be allocated to all public employees in 2019 and 2020. As regards education, the sector will receive around 115 million euros. In other words, salaries in education are to be increased by 10% on average. Additionally, the education trade union succeeded to safeguard the allocation of vacation allowance for all employees whose pay is lower than or equal to the country’s minimum wage.

This agreement is a huge achievement, one of the biggest and most important in our 27-years-long history. It took us more than one year, two general strikes and two governments to finally come to this result. Almost 95% of affiliates voted in favour of the signature of the final agreement. We stopped the trend of decreasing wages and hopefully turned it upwards. We pointed out the importance of education, the role of education and employees in our society which have been neglected for many years during the crisis. The “turning point” was a big general strike and the demonstration of 14 February 2018 in Ljubljana with 20 000 participants. We sent a clear and strong message to all politicians that we are determined to get what we demand and that we won’t give up. We showed our great action capacity and the biggest thank goes to each member, to all our members who participated in our actions and did not give up even when action was really intense, stressful and demanding. Together we are stronger and can achieve more”, concluded Branimir Štrukelj.

Congratulating ESTUS and all its affiliates for the efforts made and the successful agreement, ETUCE European Director, Susan Flocken, said: “Solidarity and unity are at the core of trade unions. This is one of the sound examples when both strong collective voice and robust determination can make changes. ETUCE congratulates ESTUS and its affiliates for this victory”.