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Unions, academics give up planned protests, no need

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Prague, Sept 26 (CTK) – The Czech trade unions on Tuesday withdrew their threat to go on strike as the government approved the demand of pay rise for employees in the public sector, and university representatives called off the protests planned for the beginning of the academic year.

On Monday, the outgoing centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka approved 10-percent rise in salaries in the public sector and security forces and a 15-percent rise for teachers as of November.

The universities originally demanded that their 2018 budget be 4.5 billion crowns higher than this year’s, but they accepted the compromise of a three-billion-crowns increase, which the government approved on Monday as well.

The trade unions declared strike alert on September 6. They announced that they would withdraw the threat, once the government approves the demanded pay rise. Pavel Bednar, spokesman for the public sector trade unions, confirmed to CTK that this has happened.

“The unions appreciate the forthcoming stance of the government that met its promise and approved the particular decree,” Bednar said.

The public sector trade unions represented teachers, clerks, medical staff, firefighters, police and army officers and other professions.

Czech Rectors’ Conference head Tomas Zima said the representatives of universities, university unions and the Science Academy agreed on Tuesday that the protests scheduled for next week would be called off.

Events presenting the current state of Czech university education will be organised instead, Zima said.

A new parliament elected in the October general election will be deciding on the 2018 state budget. Mikulas Bek, deputy head of the Czech Rectors’ Conference, said in this context the academics were ready to hold new protests if needed.

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