Teacher Predicts a New Strike ({{commentsTotal}})

Hugo Treffner Gymnasium teacher and Tartu City councilman Toomas Jürgenstein said that a repeat of the 2012 strike by 15,000 educational workers could be in the cards, as he claims the state has not kept promises and the teaching profession is in crisis.

“The need for a new strike has been talked about in education circles, as regretfully one must admit that the problems that caused the (initial) teachers' protests, like salary, workload and acknowledgment of the profession, are still persisting and lack an acceptable solution,” Jürgenstein told Postimees today.

He said that it is no longer just a question of a one-off wage hike, as a recent study by PIAAC (Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies), the difference in skill levels between teachers and the average employees in the labor market is one of the lowest and the teacher salary and average national salary ratio also the worst in the teachers' perspective.

The Ministry of Education's spokesman, Argo Kerb, told uudised.err.ee today that local governments, which look after school funding, receive enough funds to pay the average full-time teacher a monthly gross salary of 978 euros.

Critics say the 12 percent increase in the wage pot handed to municipalities at the beginning of last year has not trickled down to teachers.

Reemo Voltri, the head of the Education Personnel Union, said that the model for financing schools and particularly teachers' salaries is very complicated, and according to his calculations, the average increase has been closer to 5 percent, if  that.