Your fight is truly our fight

September 18, 2012

In their first week on the picket lines, in the face of intense political opposition, striking Chicago teachers sent their message of struggle for the kind of schools that teachers and students deserve across the U.S. and around the world. In this statement, officers of the Greek Federation of Secondary State School Teachers (OLME by its initials in Greek) declare their solidarity with Chicago teachers.

ON BEHALF of the Greek teachers, the Executive Board of OLME declares its unreserved solidarity and firm support to your efforts wishing success in the strike and all the mobilizations you have launched.

We would like to express our support for your rightful struggle for the improvement of teachers' working conditions, classroom conditions, class size and the increase of social workers, counselors, technicians and school nurses. We would also like to express our full support for your fight against an evaluation based on students' performance on tests, leading thus to teachers being discharged.

Teachers, students and their families are paying dearly for the cost of the crisis caused by the financial and political elites, both internationally and locally. The elites themselves are threatening to dismantle schools and educational structures by means of cuts in funding, evaluation measures, school unit closures, class size increase, casualization and abolition of collective bargaining. They aim to save banks and the interests of the affluent, condemning thus the majority of workers and the poor to ignorance.

Teachers and students rally and march in a show of support for the CTU's fight for a fair contract
Teachers and students rally and march in a show of support for the CTU's fight for a fair contract (Elizabeth Schulte | SW)

We, the teachers, are declaring that our needs stand beyond their profits. We strongly support your efforts and the efforts of people around the world who resist tough, neoliberal austerity measures.

The teachers in Greece are struggling to overthrow the government that, along with the troika (the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund), has already implemented a severe austerity program affecting salaries and pensions and imposing continuous cuts in the fields of education and health.

Your fight is truly our fight. We are going to win. Good luck.

For the executive board of OLME,
Nikos Papachristos, president
Themis Kotsifakis, secretary general

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