So there I was on Monday, enjoying my first morning in Copenhagen when I stumbled across a protest taking place outside the Danish Parliament.
A group of teachers were protesting what is known as “The Lockout.”
Essentially – and I think this is right – based on my conversations with the teachers protesting and press reports…
The Danish system allows for a review of working conditions every two years.
The latest review has seen the leaders decide that teachers will have less preparation time – it seems the disconnect between policy makers and teachers is not the sole preserve of Australia!
The teachers obviously aren’t too keen on this move.
But here’s the thing… because the teachers want to keep their preparation time intact, the municipalities (different regions are responsible for their local public schools) have locked the teachers out.
The teachers want to work, but aren’t allowed, until they agree to the changes.
And they aren’t getting paid their full wage either – in another week, they’ll get nothing. Some of the teachers I spoke to had been locked-out for nearly two weeks and were already having to worry about borrowing cash from family and friends.
The teachers have a great deal of public support, and you’d hope that common-sense prevails and while it might sound a bit over-the-top, I felt a great sense of camaraderie with the Danish teachers I met and I wish them all the best for the future.