Primary school teachers: "The local authority cannot intervene in the running of schools"
CORFU. SEPE (Primary Teachers Union) issued a statement following a letter from North Corfu Deputy Mayor for Circular Economy Spyridoula Kokkali to teachers at one school calling them to account for the non-collection of recyclable materials.
The Corfu Union of Primary School Teachers (SEPE) issued a statement condemning the "unprofessional and totally uneducational animosity directed to public servants by the North Corfu Deputy Mayor for Circular Economy & Environment" Spyridoula Kokkali, who, according to the statement, "is undermining the smooth running of the schools".
The reason for the statement, according to the Union, is a letter sent by the Deputy Mayor to the Teachers' Union at one school rebuking the teachers for zero collection of recyclable materials.
"The Local Authority cannot intervene in the running of schools! The SEPE Board condemns the unprofessional and totally uneducational animosity directed to public servants by the North Corfu Deputy Mayor for Circular Economy & Environment, undermining the smooth running of the schools.
From the time that the new local authority came to office, SEPE members have reported unacceptable behaviour towards Primary School Heads and Nursery School Supervisors regarding the recycling programme.
Ms. Kokkali even sent a letter to one school rebuking the teachers for zero collection of recyclable materials and - which was not her responsibility - drew unfounded conclusions regarding the lack of teachers and the finalisation of the timetable.
We consider that this kind of behaviour is not appropriate for a Deputy Mayor who has absolutely no responsibility for education.
We are especially concerned as it seems that in Corfu an unhealthy climate has been established in the education sector between some officials and teachers. The lack of respect towards the educational community is a serious blight in the Municipality which needs to be healed before it festers.
We reiterate clearly and categorically:
Teachers do a job which has great social responsibility. The work includes teaching and education of pupils as well as emotional cultivation in the acceptance of principles which will give them values and influence their behaviour so that they can develop a positive attitude in their lives and in society.
Teachers' Associations are the main administrative organs in schools and were, are and will be completely responsible for everything that goes on at their schools. They have the right and are obligated to make decisions on how the school is run based on its needs, the safety of the pupils and the smooth functioning of their school.
Consequently, it doesn't need to be said that the teacher' association will decide on the start and finish of a recycling programme at a time it deems there is educational value for the pupils. And they know what needs to happen for a school to run smoothly as they aren't 'temporary' - they are there permanently. It would be good, then, for every official to listen to professional opinions and take them on board.
Following on from the above, we consider that Ms. Kokkali does not have the legitimacy to involve herself in educational matters.
We call on the Municipal Council to respond and resolve the problem.
We call on the Mayor to intervene so that matters can go back to normal in the whole of the educational community in North Corfu.
Education, especially at this difficult time, needs people - including on an official level - who can provide support and solve problems. It does not need people who create problems and destroy whatever 'normality' remains."