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Unions call for talks on economy measures, digital classrooms

Hungaryʼs biggest unions confederations have called for consultations with the government on a possible return to digital classrooms because of a second wave of coronavirus infections, and on economic and labor market measures planned for the coming two years in a joint statement issued on Tuesday, state news wire MTI reports.

Unions confederations MSZSZ, LIGA, ÉSZT, SZEF, the Labor Councils, and the Seventh Association asked the government to continue expert-level talks on problems that had become relevant with the start of school on September 1 and, emulating that example, hold negotiations on issues concerning mid-term economic defense and stimulus measures.

The union confederations said wage-earnersʼ views should be weighed as well as those of economic experts and employers in the interest of "preserving social coherence".

If schools return to the practice of remote instruction because of a second wave of Covid-19 infections, the burden of helping 6- to 14-year-olds learn from home will fall on parents, most of whom are actively employed, they said.

They urged preparations for such a situation to be made now and pressed the government to consider measures to support working parents who may have to stay home from work through wage support "and/or" changes to health insurance legislation.