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24.12.2009

Lviv region teachers retrieve their money via Strasbourg

   

Seven teachers from Drohobych have won their case in the European Court of Human Rights and will receive 600 EURO each from the government, the Ukrainian Service of Deutsche Welle reports. Around 20 other cases involving education workers from the Lviv region still await consideration. Approximately the same number have already won their cases. By the end of the week another five applications will be lodged from Lviv region teachers whose payments in accordance with rulings have been dragged out.

In all 62 teachers from the Lviv region have approached the European Court of Human Rights however half have backed out of the proceedings, Head of the Lviv Regional branch of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions, Andriy Sokolov.

The main reason for these retractions is threats, intimidation and psychological pressure, while several education workers have been forced to write statements of retraction.

We informed the European Court of methods of bringing influence to bear, and the fact that statements had been made under duress. The Court accepted our arguments”, Mr Sokolov says.

The Head of the Central Department of Education for the Lviv region, Pavlo Khobzei denied any pressure on teachers asserting that “there wasn’t even any discussion on that subject”. He also informed that payments to teachers had ended this year.

Mr Sokolov says that while the case went on in the European Court, almost 90% of teachers were paid their salary arrears. However it took the State 7 years to enforce the court rulings, and the value of the money is ten times less. Therefore, in lodging their applications, the teachers hoped to receive moral compensation.

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