Gothenburg school pupils strike against job cuts

400 pupils at Sjumilaskolan in Gothenburg suburb Biskopsgården have been on a week long strike since angry parents got the message that half the staff was to be sacked due to the economic crisis and estimates of falling pupil numbers.

The teacher union´s (Lärarförbundet) representative Stratos Ayassotelis says incredibly enough that the teachers do not support the strike and that they´ve been spending the day calling parents encouraging them to send their kids to school claiming that school attending is compulsory in Sweden.

Parents have said that their children have the right to a good education which is impossible without a sufficient amount of teachers. One parent said “ We do this as a reaction against local politicians. Now teachers are calling us talking about `compulsory school attending`. But are we the only ones with obligations? Doesn’t the school have an obligation to give our children a good education?”

When media showed up municipality bureaucrats tried to play down the issue, saying that there had been a “misunderstanding” and only eight positions where to disappear.

One can suppose that the municipality leadership fears a situation similar to the one in 2002 when a school strike spread all over the suburb, finally involving 1900 students protesting against the dismissal of 20 teachers.

According to figures published by Swedish National Television (SVT) 1100 teachers have been sacked this year. Facing these redundancies it´s hard to know how long the teachers union can maintain their non-combative stance and even attacking those who support teachers´ interests. Meanwhile parents and pupils in Biskopsgården are preparing further actions, one of those being a demonstration on the 30th of March.

Redundancies among teachers have all ready been carried out in the suburb Gunnared, where teachers organized a protest march. One teacher that we spoke to said “We are really pissed of about this situation; this is a poor area where there is much need for the teachers we got. If the kids won´t burn down the school I think we might do it”

Posted By

Mar 25 2009 23:01


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Mar 26 2009 09:47

Does anyone from Sweden have more info on when has it started. Is it really just a misunderstanding on part of the parents? Did the teachers really call the parents? Any idea why the union official said what he said (sounds suicidal)? Was there any support from libertarian communists?

Mar 26 2009 15:55

The teachers union, as most other unions in Sweden are very refromist and corrupted. It´s hard to know if the nromal teachers (those who are not union representives) support the action. If they do they might face the risk to get sacked. But as you said the way the teachers union act is suicidal.
We are trying to get more info from both parents and non-loyal teachers hoping to get a better view abut whats going on. Watch out for more news.
There has been no support, but we try to communicate with the people involved/ Chameleon

Mar 27 2009 10:32

According to television SVT the strike is going on despite yestreday's meeting with local politician which was fruitless.

Apr 17 2009 01:15

Any more news on this?
Want to put it in the news brief in our paper, thanks!