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Teachers Ready to Resign

Teachers will walk out of the classroom today at 2:30 pm to attend a meeting at Háskólabíó cinema where their wage demands will be discussed. Twice, they have voted against a wage contract reached by their union representatives, unhappy both with their wages and work conditions.

Hólmfríður Helga S. Thoroddsen and Erla Súsanna Þórisdóttir, organizers of the meeting, were interviewed by RÚV. They spoke about discontent within the profession. “There are people who have already resigned, and if nothing changes, there will be more resignations. It won’t happen in the next few months, but in the next two or three weeks,” Erla remarked.

She criticized the fact that major changes in the school system have not been accompanied by increased funding. In a school system open to all students, there are many challenges and support is lacking, she stated.

Hólmfríður pointed out that although 3,000 teachers, or 60 percent of grade school teachers, signed a petition to Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson last week, demanding better wages and urging city officials to react to the serious condition of the school system, he failed to mention that in his weekly column.

When asked if a strike is likely, Erla responded, “There are different views regarding that, and people don’t want to go on strike. But if nothing happens in the next few weeks, if there is no change, then we must take measures. I find it more likely, however, that people give up and resign from their job.” She did not rule out mass resignations.

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