Protesting teachers pour water on education minister

Education employees have gathered in front of the Education Ministry in protest over their "material position, and the state of the education sector."

Source: Tanjug

Their representatives were on Tuesday holding a meeting with Education Minister Srdjan Verbic that ended with no agreement.

Previously, they organized a protest walk that started in front of the National Assembly and stopped briefly in front of the government HQ, holding up traffic in Nemanjina St., before reaching the ministry building.

B92's reporter said that the protest was "fairly noisy" and that a large number of people had gathered. At one point, unexpectedly, Verbic decided to walk to a stage set up in Manjez Park.

The protesters reacted with loud booing and hissing, and, as the minister was making his way through the crowd accompanied by police officers, somebody managed to pour water on him.

Soon after, education sector trade union representatives Dragan Matijevic and Milorad Antic went to the ministry building where they were holding a meeting with Verbic.

Before leaving, Matijevic urged the protesters to exhibit "dignified behavior."

Ahead of the protest walk, the unions handed a letter to the Committee on Education, demanding a special sitting of parliament that would deal exclusively with "the state of the education sector."

Antic also announced that the protest added a new demand to the existing list - namely, Verbic's resignation.

On Tuesday morning, Verbic repeated that teachers who are taking part in an ongoing strike "will not receive payment."

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic also commented on the strike of a part of education sector employees to say there were "no plans to further cut teachers' salaries." He added they were the ones that suffered "the most damage" from his government's austerity measures, and that they will be "the first to feel improvement after the Serbian finances heal."

"I feel for them, they are right about everything, but what should we do? Bring down the agreement with the IMF?," asked the prime minister, who was visiting Obrenovac on Tuesday.

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