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Public workers are on strike today

Atualizado: 17 de mai.


Civil servants will be on strike this Friday, May 17. The strike has been called by the Frente Comum (Common Front), whose coordinator explains that schools, tax offices, social security services, courts, but also "many services" in local and central administration are likely to be affected.

The president of the National Association of Principals of Public Schools explains that the strike should be felt particularly in pre-school and primary schools.

"We have received an advance warning from the Central Administration. We also have received an advance warning from Fenprof (Teachers' Union). It's expected that there will be closed schools, tax and social security services, courts. There will also be disruption in many central and local administration services," said the coordinator of the Frente Comum, Sebastião Santana.

As far as local administration is concerned, the data provided by the Directorate-General for Administration and Public Employment (DGAEP) shows, for example, that in the municipality of Lisbon there is a prior strike notice covering all workers, including those in municipal and inter-municipal companies, foundations and even parishes in the capital.

As far as schools are concerned, the president of the National Association of Directors of Groupings and Public Schools, Filinto Lima, explained to ECO that the closure of schools as a result of the strike is likely to be "more felt" in the first cycle and pre-school, because these are establishments where there are typically fewer staff.

However, in schools from 5th grade onwards, as there are several staff and teachers on duty, the closure will depend on the degree of adherence to the strike. "I ask that parents have a plan in place in case the schools don't open," emphasises the official, who argues that "we need to restore peace to the schools".

At a time when negotiations are taking place between the government and teachers over the recovery of "lost" service time, Filinto Lima calls on the Ministry of Finance to "treat education and its professionals very well", which, he says, have been "mistreated in recent years". "We need to value the teaching career. That goes a long way towards the Ministry of Finance," he says.

Common Front is demanding an interim pay rise for all civil servants, as well as career development and the strengthening of public services. The union also wants the minimum wage to reach 1,000 euros this year.

In addition to the strike, a demonstration is planned in front of the Ministry of Finance in Lisbon at 3pm.

Sebastião Santana anticipates that the turnout will be strong.

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