Polish PM asks teachers to suspend strike as students take exams

Poland’s prime minister has asked striking teachers to suspend a protest as junior high school exams start on Wednesday.

Thousands of schools have cancelled classes after teachers across Poland went on a nationwide strike over pay on Monday.

The protest began just before end-of-school exams at various levels of education.

In a media interview on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki offered to hold “roundtable” talks with unionists after Easter to “work out good solutions,” and asked teachers to suspend their strike during the exams.

Talking to public broadcaster TVP Info, Morawiecki also said that teachers’ salaries were set to go up “by 15 percent in total this year, which means far more than the unionists originally expected.”

Citing budgetary constraints, Morawiecki said no further pay hikes could be offered to teachers this year.

More than 350,000 junior high schoolers across the country were poised to begin their end-of-school exams on Wednesday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

Poland’s education minister said on Tuesday that key exams in Polish middle schools would go ahead despite the nationwide strike.

President Andrzej Duda on Monday called on protesting teachers to suspend their strike “to enable young people to take their exams peacefully.”

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