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Posted by portugalpress on October 08, 2018

Following a massive demonstration in Lisbon last Friday - at least 20,000 banner waving teachers took part - the union pushing the government to make good on its promise to compensate its members for almost a decade of professional hardship has vowed to ‘step up the war’.

Teachers will work “scrupulously” to rule from now on - which means there will be a national boycott of any ‘extra’ demands, like meetings and/ or pupil evaluations.

Fenprof, the federation of teachers, will also be “taking legal steps”, presenting a complaint to both the International Labour Organisation and UNESCO, as well as considering “other forms of protest”.

The face of this struggle - union boss Mário Nogueira - is adamant - particularly as the government has turned its back on negotiations and ploughed forwards with the ‘unacceptable decision’ to reward teachers for just a fraction of the years that they have lost in pay and career progressions.

“Teachers will not give up”, he vowed, with the crowds clearly behind him on Friday.

It was a moment when the capital was also commemorating the significance of the October 5 Bank Holiday in the presence of President Marcelo.

Marcelo thus came face-to-face with Mário Nogueira who stressed the need for teachers to have a meeting with him to explain why they feel they should be rewarded for the full term of ‘frozen back pay and conditions’: translating into nine years, four months and two days - as opposed to the government’s decision to pay-up just two years, nine months and 18 days.

Teachers’ hopes are that Marcelo will veto the government’s decision when it comes up for the presidential rubber-stamp.

Cameras rolled as the head of State assured teachers he was happy to meet and discuss the situation.

Thus, for now, we’re still in the ‘war’ scenario - with Mário Nogueira saying he hopes the education minister doesn’t call in sick the day before his department is discussed in the debate over the 2019 State Budget.

Nogueira’s comment was a jibe at the last time Tiago Rodrigues Brandão was faced with a major stand-off. He took to his bed with what was described as ‘acute vestibular syndrome’, a condition characterised by extreme dizziness that can lead to vomiting, “gait instability” and rapid involuntary movements of the eyes and head (click here).
He recovered shortly after the teachers’ strike at the time had concluded.