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Over 3,300 municipal school employees in Tallinn to strike

The warning strike at Kiili High School, Harju County.
The warning strike at Kiili High School, Harju County. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

More than 3,000 staff members at Tallinn's general education school will join the open-ended strike over salaries on Monday (January 22). More employees are also expected to participate in the support strike starting on Wednesday.

 In the general strike, 57 municipal general education schools with a total of 2,917 teachers will take part, and the support strike includes an additional 460 educational workers from general education schools.

The only exception is Tallinna Kadaka Basic School, which caters to children with special educational needs and is not participating in the strike.

From January 24-26, the support strike will also include 2,058 educational workers from 106 kindergartens and 114 employees from 4 hobby schools. Employees of the Kopli vocational school will strike on January 24 and 25.

Kaarel Rundu, the head of Tallinn's Education Department, said all educational institutions will remain open during the strike days.

Kaarel Rundu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

"Alternative activities will be provided for primary school children within school premises. Students from grades 4 to 9 in primary schools and high school students will mostly engage in distance learning, with planned project-based learning and independent work. All kindergartens will operate with aftercare groups. The organization of school days and aftercare groups will involve non-striking teachers and other staff, substitute workers, parents, guest teachers, and specialists from the education department," he explained.

Meals and school health services will be provided for children during the strike, Rundu added.

Striking staff will be paid for three days.

"Salaries will be retained for general education school teachers and support specialists (including speech therapists, psychologists, social pedagogues, special education teachers) striking from January 22 to 24, and for vocational, hobby school teachers, and kindergarten teachers and support specialists participating in the support strike from January 24 to 26," Rundu explained.

Tallinn Central Library. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The city has offered schools alternative activities such as the FitSphere step challenge "Steps for Health" and a license for the TriumfHealth app's science-based mental health and wellbeing game "Triumfland Saga".

During the strike, Tallinn Central Library and branch libraries will extend their opening hours, allowing children to read, study, play thinking and board games, use IT tools, and other library facilities.

The Department of Estonian Literature (Estonia pst 8) will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the Department of Foreign Literature (Liivalaia 40) from 9 am to 7 pm. Branch libraries will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., including on Monday when they are usually closed.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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