Estonian Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) has sent a letter to the Estonian Educational Personnel Union (EHL) proposing that teachers of children in care and with special educational needs, along with other staff members working with them, should not exercise the right to strike, or should do so only to a limited extent.
Kallas stressed the importance of ensuring that the most vulnerable groups in education would not be left without the necessary care and supervision during the strike.
"As these are children who often need a fixed routine and are not used to new people, it may not be possible for them to have their lessons taught by substitutes or temporary staff who are unfamiliar to them and are not trained to teach children with special needs," she said.
Kallas added that ensuring the well-being of children with special needs is a crucial part of the cooperation between the state and the EHL, as organizers of the strike. Neither the law nor any other legislation comprehensively defines the activities or target groups related to the primary needs of the education sector.
The EHL is planning an open-ended general strike for January 22.
Editor: Michael Cole