12. 06. 12. - 16:58
Nursery teachers step up campaign over pay and conditions
Kindergarten teachers are stepping up their campaign against problems in Vienna.
The teachers say that the groups of children are too large and want them reduced and they also want to be paid more.
The spokesman for the Vienna kindergarten teachers Raphaela Keller said: "With average groups of around about 25 children it is impossible for a teacher to give individual care. It also not possible to build a proper relationship with the children."
The teachers have been campaigning for some time now for groups of no more than 15 and two teachers in each group. They also want better pay, more opportunities for extracurricular educational activities and more space for the children.
She said that as a result of the poor conditions in Vienna many teachers were moving to Lower Austria where the pay and conditions were better. She said: "On average Lower Austria pays about €600 more for people just coming into the business than they do in the capital."
She said that what was on offer in Vienna was so poor that about 40% of those qualified decided not to go into the business at all and obtained another job. She said: "They either don't start or they simply drop out shortly after starting. The main problem is that what they learn cannot be applied to the situation they find themselves in – there are simply too many children."
They are planning a demonstration at two o'clock today at Ballhausplatz to highlight their position. But they added that it was being taken not to affect services.
A spokesman for the city council responsible for education Christian Oxonitsch (SPÖ) said that this year Vienna would be investing around €600 million in kindergarten care.