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TEACHER LOCKOUT: Intervention imminent

Government intervention in the teacher conflict is expected today

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After four weeks of deserted schools, the government is expected to intervene in the teachers’ conflict today, with intervention due to be announced later this morning, according to media reports.

Danmarks Radio says that government intervention is to be pushed through Parliament quickly, so that teachers will be able to resume work on Monday. The emergency legislation will require Parliament to convene during the upcoming public holiday.

According to Politiken, senior cabinet ministers met late last night to discuss intervention, with the cabinet having been called in this morning and the Social Democratic parliamentary group has been called in for a group meeting at 9 a.m.

News of the likelihood of intervention in the teachers’ conflict came following an announcement that the government and opposition have agreed on the second tranche of the government’s Growth Package, which includes a reduction in corporate tax from 25 per cent to 22 per cent.

A majority for intervention in the teachers’ conflict will require support from the opposition. The Liberal Party is expected to join the government and vote in favour.

The government move is to be presented at 10 a.m. this morning by Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

The teachers’ conflict, which has left schools deserted for some four weeks now, has affected some 875,000 pupils. Teachers were locked out following the breakdown of pay and condition negotiations with Local Government Denmark, which is the association of local councils in Denmark.

The parties to the conflict both said this morning that they welcome intervention.

“The positive thing is that the lockout stops. The grotesque thing is that it has lasted for a month” says Teacher Union Chairman Anders Bondo Christensen.

Local Government Denmark Chairman Michael Ziegler says he is relieved, although he would have preferred a negotiated settlement.

“But it has become increasingly clear to me that a negotiated settlement would have taken a long time. So I can fully understand that society has become impatient with us, wants children back in school and wants intervention,” Ziegler says.

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