Wednesday, 9 March 2022
MEETING BETWEEN PRESIDENT XHAFERI AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM PSO AND SSM
At the request of the Progressive Education Union (PSO) at the Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia (SSM), the President of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia, Mr Talat Xhaferi met with the leadership of PSO, headed by Vlado Dimovski, Fitim Axhami, Jovan Shape and Elena Stojanovska, and the President and Secretary of the SSM, Darko Dimovski and Zlatko Cvetskovski.
President Xhaferi left room for the representatives of PSO and SSM to explain the request for the meeting and after their introduction, they mutually agreed on the need to adopt a Law on teachers and professional associates and the need to increase salaries in education, in line with the growth of the minimum wage. At the same time, the representatives of PSO and SSM pointed out the need for a swift modification of the employment contracts of teachers and professional associates from fixed-term to full-time permanent. The Progressive Education Union at SSM reported that they work on relevant analysis of schools, classes and number of students, and confirmed that the proposed solution does not anticipate the risk of redundancy of teachers of certain subjects, but that as a union they take care of that aspect as well. They also expressed the request for the MPs to vote for the need to adopt the Law with a proposal, and then to react with amendments for the disputed provisions in the Law, whereby PSO and SSM would submit appropriate proposals that would be drafted through holding extensive consultations with teachers and professional associates in the following period.
The representatives of SSM emphasized that their main commitment is the modification of the employment contracts of all workers to full-time permanent status, regardless of which sector the employee belongs to, beginning with regulating the status of teachers and professional associates in primary and secondary education. They also pointed out the need for a gradual increase in wages of all workers in accordance with the increase in the minimum wage.
The President of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia, Talat Xhaferi, after listening to the representatives, briefly informed them about the current situation regarding this issue. That is, he informed about the two versions of the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Teachers and Professional Associates that have been submitted, one a proposal of the Government of RNM from 19 April 2021 and the other by five MPs from the parliamentary group of VMRO DPMNE, from 14 February 2022. The two proposals differ in that the first regulates the status of fixed-term and full-time permanent employment, while in the second that part is omitted and the part for regulating salaries is left. In principle, it is necessary to overcome the need for daily political bargaining and to realise the importance of improving the social status of educators and professional associates in education by voting urgently on the need to adopt amendments to the relevant law that could not be put on the agenda of the plenary session for a year.