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Georgia: Government meets teachers' demands following rally

A rally organised by EI affiliate the Educators and Scientists Free Trade Union of Georgia (ESFTUG) was successful in persuading the Parliament of Georgia to increase the funding of education during the budget discussion.

3000 teachers gathered in Tbilisi on 13th December, marching to the parliament. Regional representatives spoke of their problems and demanded that the government meet them. After the rally, the Georgian Minister of Education & Science invited ESFTUG to discuss their demands. The results of this 3 hour meeting were: - The minister promised that no school would be closed without prior consultation with, and consent of, trade union organisations; - Funding of schools will now be determined according to the needs of individual schools; - A joint committee will be established to investigate ways of ensuring an adequate pension for those teachers who have reached retirement age. Shortly after the rally, the Ministry of Finance allocated additional funding for the education sector with the provision within the 2006 budget for raising further sums. While welcoming these developments, Manana Gurchumelidze, General Secretary of ESFTUG emphasised that the union is “determined to continue our efforts to provide our teachers with normal working conditions, adequate wages and well-deserved pensions.”