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Posted by portugalpress on March 13, 2018

With teachers on a form of phased strike action till Friday - and further protests threatened for the summer - reports suggest the government’s relationship with Civil Service unions has reached “boiling point”.

Monday saw disruption on the railways with a one-day strike, while health service unions have scheduled new protests for this month and next.

Meantime, the Common Front of the CGTP workers’ union will be demonstrating in Lisbon on Friday.

The crux of unions’ angst is what they term the “insufficient” decision by the government to simply “unfreeze” career progressions without making up the money effectively lost over what amounts to almost a decade.

The increases to pay packets are “very small”, explains union coordinator Ana Avoila, adding that “workers are not available to continue accepting a life of nothing”.

Nurses have scheduled their next walk-out on this issue for March 22 and 23, while doctors will be staging strike action in April.

The government is still “in negotiations” with various syndicates as these issues have to be appreciated against the wider picture: looming legislative elections in 2019.

So far, media polls put the government in an unbeatable position, but trouble with unions in a sector that employs almost 700,000 potential voters could see popularity plummet.