The Lithuanian Seimas has passed the state budget for 2019, which includes more funds for defense, while not taking into account the funding demands of striking teachers.
Canadian-British news agency Reuters reports that the state budget was passed in the Seimas on December 11, with revenues expected to be 17.2 billion euros and spending at 17 billion euros in 2019.
The planned defense spending will equal 2.05% of gross domestic product.
Despite a teacher strike continuing for a month in over 100 schools in Lithuania, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has refused to raise pay for teachers blaming the opposition Homeland Union Party, which has voiced support for teacher demands, of attempts to bring down his government.
Reportedly, teachers are seeking a 20% pay rise from the year 2019.
The Lithuanian Education Employees Trade Union also demands the cancellation of the so-called “minute-based” pay system and the introduction of a tenure model where a teacher’s tenure would constitute no more than 18 contact weekly hours spent directly with schoolchildren and 18 non-contact weekly hours spent with the pupils indirectly, checking their homework, for example. (BNN/Business World Magazine)