Portugal’s government warns of quitting over teacher pay

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s prime minister is warning opposition parties his minority government will resign if parliament approves a bill giving teachers retroactive pay to replace income they lost due to national austerity measures.

Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa said the move would increase public spending by 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) this year and next, wrecking the government’s financial planning.

Costa issued the warning Friday after opposition lawmakers on a parliamentary committee endorsed the bill. Passage by the full parliament is required for teachers to get the retroactive pay.

Portugal’s teachers had promotions and associated pay increases frozen between 2011 and 2017 as part of money-saving measures during a financial crisis.

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Labor unions want to recoup the lost time and entitlements, but the Portuguese government says it can’t afford it.

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