High school teachers have opted to launch rolling five-day strikes from September 16 to protest the government’s decision to place hundreds of educators in a civil service mobility scheme.

The Federation of Secondary School Teachers (OLME) announced the decision late on Monday after 72 of its 85 local chapters approved strike action.

Teaching at Greek high schools was due to get underway on Wednesday, September 11. OLME said it would reevaluate its decision at the end of each five days and has also written to parents and pupils explaining its decision.

OLME also appealed to teachers at private schools to back its action. Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos said he would not issue civil mobilization orders to force the teachers back to work.

In July some 2,500 teachers were put into a mobility scheme, which foresees them getting reduced wages until their transfer to another post or dismissal. Of these teachers, a large number are to be transferred to jobs in the health sector, which is facing shortages.

OLME says that there will be 16,000 fewer teachers at Greek schools this year compared to last year as a result of the changes.