At a meeting of teachers, local government representatives and Ministry of Education officials taking place later today, the ministry is set to propose an 800-euro minimum gross monthly salary for teachers.
“Without a pay hike it will be hard to solve other problems that the education industry faces,” minister Jaak Aaviksoo said in a press release today.
The news comes a week after the ruling coalition pushed through the much-debated new Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, but left out paragraphs related to financing, including the issue of salaries of non-teaching specialists in schools.
The ministry generally hands the funding to run schools to local municipalities, leaving it up to them to apportion. But at the end of last year the ministry decided that a fixed part of that funding must be used solely for teachers' salaries. The decision was aimed at cementing and increasing teacher wages, making them more transparent.
Many local governments have not fully implemented the decision, citing confusion about the new funding scheme, and not all teachers have received the 715 minimum wage the ministry promised them from January.
The ministry's decision also meant that many local governments could not pay for specialists, a problem that was temporarily solved with extra funding from the ministry but will be bought up again in mid-September when the Parliament returns from its summer break.
In 2012, the minimum wage for teachers was 608 euros, which was increased to 715 euros this year. The new proposal, if accepted by teachers and municipalities, will come into force next year.