The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Switzerland: Land of flying cows?

  • By Paige Baschuk
  • 16 August 2022

Swiss employee unions demand high salaries, teacher shortages on the rise, and more in our roundup of Swiss news from August 12 – 16.

Switzerland: Land of flying cows?

Bringing cows down from the mountains in Switzerland is a festive event which draws in tourists from around the world.

Switzerland: Land of flying cows?

Visitors to Switzerland might be treated to an unusual sight at the end of summer – cows being helicoptered down mountains. Swiss cows spend the summer up in the mountains feasting on the high-altitude herbs and then come down into the valleys for more comfortable winters. The process of bringing the cows down – Alpabzug in German parts or Désalpes in the Frech parts – is celebrated throughout Switzerland with food, drinks, music and dressing the cows in flower crowns. It is a significant annual event that draws in many tourists. However, if a cow is unable to make the arduous trek down, they must be helicoptered as trailers cannot accommodate the mountain roads. Otherwise, they would be left to die in the cold. Read more.

Forget everything you know about dairy: Why Swiss cheese is healthy

Swiss teachers concerned about quality education

Swiss schools are having a difficult time filling teaching positions – especially in primary schools in the German-speaking parts of the country – and schools have resorted to hiring unqualified personnel, according to Dagmar Rösler, president of the Swiss Teachers Association. Rösler told media that the shortage was troubling enough that she worried parents would start home-schooling their children or placing them in private schools. Schools must be able to offer higher salaries in order to attract qualified candidates, Rösler added. Moreover, more schools to train potential teachers should be opened as all of the Swiss ones are currently full. Read more.

Swiss employees are due a 5 percent wage increase in 2023

Swiss salaries, on average, should increase by 3 to 5 percent in 2023, according to economists from the Trade Union Travail Suisse. The wage increase would offset the inflated living costs, as well as rewarding workers for increasing their productivity. Switzerland’s economy is stable at the moment, but employees have seen little to no reward in terms of their salaries, according to Thomas Bauer an economist from the trade union. Instead, workers have had to deal with rising living costs and increasing stress. “All workers must get their fair share of the fruits of growth” as they work “to the maximum of their abilities,” said Johann Tscherrig Syna trade union, representing health care workers. Read more.

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