tirsdag den 2. april 2013

Danish lockout of 70.000 teachers.

I feel I should tell about the situation for the danish teachers right now. 
70.000 teachers has been lockouted from today. They are not allowed to be in the schools area. 

874.281 students kids and adults will loose their classes. And right now nobody knows for how long. The teachers won't receive any salary, but those in the union can get some help there. They will get an amount smaller than their salary, and maybe a part of it will be as a loan without interest. 
The union informs, they have money enough for 60 days.  Experts expect, and so do I, that the government will intervene in two weeks, and we are many, that think they will make a law, that goes against the teachers.

So what is the conflict between the teachers and the employers about? The minister of education, Christina  Antorini, wants to reform the public school. And she wants to let the teachers pay for that reform. The idea is to force the teachers to have more hours of teaching and less hours for preparation. During the passed 10 years the number of school children has decreased with 2 %. In the same period has the number of teachers decreased with 10 %.  So already now the teachers have to run faster.

The danish minister of education claims, that an average teacher only teach 16 hours a week. The union says the number is 25,5 hours a week. The minister wants the teachers to teach up to 3 hours more a week. Within the same time frame. The minister has more ideas about where we can gain time to extra lessons by cutting in the preparation. 

Today was the first day of the lockout and teachers all over the country have been participating in a lot of activities. Here's an old "hippie" song, that some teachers rewrote, so it's now about the conflict. 

The teachers try to convince the public, that this is not because they do not want to teach more, but they want time to prepare quality lessons. 
And all over the country teachers organise teaching for the students despite they are not allowed to be in the school. Some teachers write blogs to tell the students what to study and how. And even where to find the books in the school (the students are allowed in the buildings). In Odense, the city where I used to live, the teachers organise educational trips such as historical walks in the city and fishing trips.

The employers have threatened with the lockout almost since the negotiations began months ago. Teachers from the public school of Løsning made this Gangnam Style to inform about all the things a teacher has to do next to the teaching in the class. They called it Gangvagt Style. Gangvagt is danish name for the teacher doing the surveillance during the breaks.

Everytime I look in the newspapers or on Facebook, I'm amazed by the unity and the positive spirit among the teachers. Colleagues like them are a reason to be proud to be a danish teacher. 

Bon Courage to all of you and thank you for fighting battle for my rights as well!

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