Thursday 25.07.2024 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

Union demands solution to teachers΄ accommodation problem in Corfu

12 Jul 2023 / 11:18

CORFU. The union is asking for the issue to be discussed at regional and municipal council meetings.

(Teachers' Union ELME) It is well-known that a significant number of educators in Corfu (permanent, newly appointed, supply teachers) come from areas outside the island. Additionally, supply teachers, who in the school year 2022-23 accounted for 25% of the total number of educators and are projected to exceed 30% in the next school year, are hired in "waves" by the authorities from September, even until March, resulting in further difficulty in finding accommodation. A significant number of these educators have been working in this hostage situation for over 10 years, and moreover, far from their place of residence.

A significant number of educators have families, forcing them to:

- maintain two or even three houses (many have children who are now attending universities or technical colleges).

· visit their families whenever possible (weekends or other vacations), which entails unbearable expenses.

· make drastic savings in order to support themselves and their families, as especially supply teachers hired from December onwards are at risk of not receiving unemployment benefits during the summer and until they are rehired.

Furthermore, this year we witnessed the destitution of these colleagues, as in many areas of Greece they were forced to stay on beaches, in campsites, or even in their cars due to the lack of accommodations. In other areas, colleagues were practically forced to resign since, due to the increased tourist activity, they couldn't find houses to rent! Or they had to leave their homes long before the end of the school year, as happened in Corfu.

The Corfu ELMΕ Board of Directors demands the following from the Municipalities and the Region Authority:

· Free meals or meal allowance for colleagues, especially for those who are not permanent residents. Collaboration between municipalities, the Region, and the Ionian University for the provision of free meals to all educators, without unacceptable limits on the number of beneficiaries or high prices.

· Ensuring an adequate number of houses for free accommodation for colleagues facing serious financial problems, housing allowances for all colleagues.

· Issuance of discounted passes for ferry boats and long-distance buses (KTEL). Special care for colleagues who commute daily on the Corfu-Igoumenitsa route.

The issue of housing for educators has been a pressing issue since September, not only for Corfu ELMΕ, but for all ELMΕ unions in the Ionian Islands. From the beginning of the year, we collectively raised the issue at the Regional Council and in each island's municipalities. We heard many good words and well-wishes during the discussions in the local councils. However, we haven't seen any tangible solution from anyone! Most of them declared "they want to, but they can't" because there is no legal framework, while even the North Corfu Municipality,, which made a decision and had the legal framework in place, asked us for the names of the educators working in North Corfu but proved not to act on the decisions of the Municipal Council, as it did absolutely nothing to implement that decision.

Now that the law has changed, and the restriction of 18,000 residents no longer exists, island municipalities "can provide free meals and accommodation" to employees (Law 5003/22).

Corfu ELMΕ, following the numerous problems our colleagues faced regarding the aforementioned issues, is taking the initiative from now on to advocate for their resolution, in the face of the first wave of newly appointed and supply colleagues who will arrive in mid-August.

For the above reasons, meetings will be scheduled with all stakeholders to address these demands.

We call upon the Municipal Authorities, the Regional Authority, and all political factions of the Municipal and Regional Councils to discuss this specific issue in an upcoming session and proceed with satisfying these demands.