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Teachers begin ‘unprecedented’ indefinite strike in Portugal

Teachers across Portugal began an indefinite strike on Friday over working conditions and “policies that have destroyed” public education.

Andre Pestana, president of the teachers’ union STOP, told Portuguese news agency Lusa that some schools may have to close down or cancel classes.

STOP is the only union participating in the strike, but represents around 3,000 teachers.

While he said it was too early to get precise figures on how many teachers have joined the walkout, he said there has been “a high level of adherence.”

Portuguese daily Diario de Noticias reported that schools across the country have sent messages to parents saying schools are having trouble operating normally.

At some schools, parents were met by striking teachers who handed them pamphlets about the strike.

The teachers have several demands, including a better hiring process, working conditions and higher wages.

“We demand a salary increase that makes up for inflation. Since 2009, teachers have lost 20% of their purchasing power,” said Pestana.

According to STOP, the indefinite strike is “unprecedented” for the country.

On Nov. 2, around 90% of the country’s teachers participated in a one-day walkout and protest over the lack of investment in education in the 2023 budget.

Source: Anadolu Agency