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Snide PM snubs teachers

SchoolClassPrime Minister António Costa said today that “it is only worth negotiating” with teachers when they have, “something new to propose.”

Lacking his trademark charm and ebullience, Costa added that the government does not sit down with the unions “just for entertainment.”

Regarding the latest negotiations, Costa said, “For our part, we went as far as we understood that we should go, and let’s see, it is only worth negotiating when there is something new to propose.”

With deep irony, the PM was speaking to reporters at the end of his speech at the “Education and the Challenges of the Future” conference in Lisbon, clearly the biggest challenge teachers face is the prime minister’s attitude.

The State Budget this year includes scheduled negotiations with teachers over pay and conditions but the PM’s view is that the budget just says that there should be negotiations this year and that it still January.

One of the teachers union’s complaints is that the government wants to delay talks until the end of the year – hence the Minister of Education is playing silly buggers now so as to avoid making any agreements that would cost money this year.

“It’s still January, we have a full year to apply the budget,” said the PM, noting that on the part of the unions he only sees “intransigence.”

“On our part, quite frankly, we went to the limit of what we thought reasonable and right. We have not been able to find any new ideas to justify the opening of the negotiations,” said the PM.

Result: a deliberate stalemate.