Kiviõli High School negotiators propose principal stays until end of year

Heidi Uustalu.
Heidi Uustalu. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

The dismissed principal of Kiviõli High School in Ida-Viru County will be asked to stay until the end of the school year after negotiations took place between school teachers and the municipality government to avoid threatened strike action.

On Tuesday, Kiviõli High School teachers and the Lüganuse rural municipality government met to resolve a dispute caused by the dismissal of Principal Heidi Uustalu and prevent a teachers' strike which would start next week.

The negotiators agreed Mayor Viktor Rauam will talk to Uustalu, who was dismissed after the municipality government lost confidence in her, and will propose she continue as acting principal until the end of the school year.

Teachers agreed to withdraw the strike notice if Uustalu agrees to continue as acting principal or says that she does not want to.

If Uustalu agrees to continue as acting principal, the municipal government will cancel the competition for the position of principal which was set to start on January 15.

Uustalu told ERR she is open for negotiations and will make a decision after meeting with the leaders of the parish. 

The meeting between the municipal government and teachers in Maidla manor. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

The Lüganuse rural municipality government terminated Uustalu's employment in early December. The council's decision came after Uustalu, a member of the Reform Party, had allowed the school to hold a meeting of the youth wing of the Reform Party.

Students and staff protested Uustalu's dismissal and teachers held an hour-long warning strike before Christmas and threatened to strike indefinitely if she was not reinstated.

The municipal government estimates that a strike would be illegal, but Reemo Voltri, chairman of the Union of Educational Advisers for Teachers, believes the strike is allowed in support of a dismissed leader.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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