Austria: struggle of the educational workers

Picture: Pedagogues on strike; source: Rote Fahne, Austria

We hereby publish an unofficial translation of a leaflet from Austria, which can be found on the Red Flag website. Pedagogues in Austria are struggling to defend their “spare-time-pedagogy” work against the plans of the government to abolish it, in mid-June they went on strike and yesterday there was a protest in Vienna where 2,500 participated, asRed Flag Austria reported.

Let’s defend the Spare-Time-Pedagogics!

Let’s defend our democratic and social rights!

The approach of the ministry of education to abolish the spare-time-pedagogy in its recent form, comes along with a whole bunch of approaches, cuts and restructuring in the educational and social sector.

– no re-hirings, personnel cuts, no increase. Ever more employees do the work of two or three!

– wage cuts. In relation to the inflation, as well as for overtime, which is done, the last wage increases only brought a loss of wages!

– “Derilation” of professional qualifications. Pedagogy, whether in spare-time, in kindergarten, or school, is more than “playing a little” or “child custody”.

Whether in kindergarten, afternoon care, school, residential groups, … there is resentment everywhere, because there are often catastrophic conditions under which you have to work!

* The government pretends that all of these grievances were “surprising” as if they fall in, similar to a natural disaster. The currently acute lack of teachers is only an expression of it. Bad conditions are generated in order to be able to enforce further cuts and deteriorations as “necessity”, such as the transfer of spare-time-pedagogues to assistant pedagogues. It is nothing but hypocrisy if social democracy now “discovered” this protest by spare-time-pedagogues for themselves, it is politically responsible for this development, especially in Vienna.

* In the past few years there have been protest actions and strike announcements, from kindergarten and after-school pedagogues to teachers who campaigned for better working conditions, higher wages and quality assurance. These actions have also been supported by parents and students themselves. Many are already clear: On the one hand, this is about the working conditions of thousands of employees, but on the other hand also about our democratic and social rights to adequate public education and social service.

We can draw important teachings from this:

– The employees are ready to fight!

– There is broad understanding and support from the population!

– Certain goals were enforced, but the bottom line was closed by the union leadership rotten compromises!

* The determined struggle of spare-time-pedagogues is all the more important. Thousands of eyes across Austria are aimed at this because it stands for an entire industry! A special feature is that on the one hand, this deals with economic questions about wages and workers, on the other hand, this industrial struggle is politically opposed to the planned reform that corresponds to an undemocratic conversion of the education system.

These protests show us …

– That no improvements are to be expected by the rulers, be represented by the ÖVP or the so -called Viennaese “progress government” (SPÖ, NEOS). The opposite proves both the current trend and the past few years.

– That it takes independent initiative and perseverance to organize combatative colleagues.

– That it is necessary to go beyond this area, to combine the protests and struggles in the industry in order not to be forced into a rotten compromise by isolation.

Spare-time-pedagogics remains! No rotten compromise!

Contrary to the dismantling and conversion: we fight for social and educational system in the service of the people!

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