Greek Teachers Strike Fizzling Out

Greek teachers aren't happy
Greek teachers aren’t happy

After making a lot of noise that they wouldn’t stand for being transferred involuntarily or fired and would strike in protest, Greek teachers are rapidly retreating with fewer than 20 percent turning out for meetings of their union OLME to decide whether to stop work.

The regional secondary school teacher unions (ELME) are in favor of holding five-day rolling strikes and 88 of its unions have backed plans for a strike by the Federation of Secondary School Teachers (OLME) with a final decision set for Sept. 8.

But with a record unemployment rate and the government set to get rid of disciplinary problems, most teachers don’t want to be on the firing line apparently and have opted not even to take part in a vote to strike.

The Federation of Secondary School Teachers (OLME) said earlier that it would take legal action against the government’s plan to put thousands of teachers into a so-called mobility scheme where they would get reduced pay ahead of their transfer to another post or dismissal but the fire seems to have gone out of the fury.

Accusing the government of embarking on “an assault against state education,” OLME said it was lodging a legal suit in a bid to reverse the enforcement of the mobility scheme, one of the key “prior actions” the government has promised the country’s Troika of international creditors. “We do not accept the decisions of the government and the education minister to put our colleagues on standby,” the union said.

At that time, Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who has been tasked with overseeing the overhaul of Greece’s civil service, insisted that the planned reforms will go ahead. “We can’t have a situation where nothing changes so that certain people can retain their privileges,” Mitsotakis told Mega TV.

He also suggested that authorities would fight back if teachers go ahead with their planned strike action next month. “The government will not tolerate closed schools, not even for a day,” he said. OLME’s head Themis Kotsifakis suggested that the government was forcing teachers into a corner. “It is the government that will close schools with so many cutbacks,” he said.


  1. The EU wants austerity in order to continue the flow of funds so far 325 BILLION. The EU tax payers will loose patience and stop the flow of money, then Greece will have no other choice than to return to the drahma. The fun will really begin with purchasing power cut by 50% Wait for it Greek teachers and civil servants.

  2. Go ahead and strike. People will love having their kids education screwed over.

    The old saying of you can’t bomb people until the love applies to civil servants and strikes. Keep striking and demanding in a time of deep austerity and watch yhe anger grow.

  3. In the 20 years I have lived in Greece I have never seen a strike achieve anything more than a disruption to the lives of people who are not the target of the anger.

    Unfortunately, it is also often tourists and visitors to this country who can not find systems or agencies working–nice thing to go home talking about. So is the government really affected by these demonstrations? Do it’s members of parliament even care what the peons (making one tenth or less than they do)? Do they really care whether they are paid or not?

    And has anyone ever considered how much money is “floating around” to find pockets when a major strike is called? Think about it. Is it ever mentioned how much money stays or is sent back into the budget as a result of not paying so many people all the days they are out? Trust me it’s millions of euros. Where does it go? Is it even recorded as a credit back into the budget–you never hear that it is and I seriously doubt it.

    All very convenient for someone in the unionist architecture who are no more than lakies for the political mafia that run the country as one incredible pozi scheme.