Portugal's school staff march for better pay and conditions
Thousands of teachers and non-teaching staff are demonstrating today in Lisbon in a protest organised by the Union of All Professionals of Education (STOP) to demand better working conditions and wages, and against minimum services in schools. This is the third march promoted by STOP since December, which has demanded measures such as a salary increase of €120 for all education professionals to include teachers and non-teaching staff. The march this Saturday is in response to the decision of Portugal's Arbitration Court, which on Friday decreed minimum services for schools following the unpredictability of the strikes decreed by STOP. The minimum services cover teachers, non-teaching staff and senior technicians, aiming to guarantee support for certain groups of students. The protests and strikes have been held in response to the Ministry of Education's proposal for a new model for recruitment and placement of teachers. STOP claimed 20,000 demonstrators attended its first march in December, and reported 100,000 took part in a second march on 14 January. In addition to Saturday's protest, a follow-up demonstration is planned for 11 February.