Ministry of Education meets with unions today, without length of service on the agenda

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The Ministry of Education today receives the unions to conclude negotiations on the qualifications and binding of teachers from artistic schools, without having on the agenda the recovery of the time of service on which the unions should insist.

The meetings are a continuation of the negotiation process started two weeks ago on the revision of the requirements for the proper qualification for teaching and the linking of visual and audiovisual arts teachers at the António Arroio artistic schools in Lisbon and Soares dos Reis in Porto.

However, the unions are expected to insist on another issue, after the President of the Republic vetoed this week the government decree that established “the terms of implementation of the mechanisms for accelerating career progression for kindergarten teachers and primary and secondary school teachers”.

On Thursday, the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, announced the approval of amendments to the diploma, which will go back to the Palace of Belém, without detailing the changes.

On the part of the Ministry of Education, the discussion on the recovery of service time – the main aim of the teachers’ protest throughout the school year – had already been concluded, but the teachers’ representatives defended the reopening of negotiations.

The secretary-general of the National Teachers’ Federation (Fenprof) said on Thursday he hoped the government would seize “the opportunity” opened up by the presidential veto of the diploma or “it will have the burden” of the ensuing challenge.

The leader of the National Federation of Education (FNE) also said that the decision of the head of state represents “a step that is taken in the sense of keeping open the discussion and the possibility of achieving this goal” and that teachers will do everything in their power to recover all the time of service.

Regarding the issues that are planned, at the last meeting, held two weeks ago, the unions praised the linkage of teachers of specialized artistic education, long demanded, but left criticism of the proposal that revises the requirements for the proper qualification for teaching.

Last year, the government extended to post-Bologna courses the proper qualifications, which allow teaching only with a bachelor’s degree, without having a master’s degree in teaching required for professionalization.

The Ministry of Education now intends to transpose the changes introduced at the time into a decree-law, reviewing the requirements for some subjects, but Fenprof and FNE warned of the risk of degradation of the quality of teaching and devaluation of the profession.

In today’s day of meetings, the tutelage begins by receiving the FNE at 09:30 and Fenprof at 11:00, and meets with the remaining unions in the afternoon.

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