Bus drivers' minimum wage to rise 18% in three years
Following a year of negotiations, the Estonian Transport and Road Workers Trade Union (ETTA) and the Union of Estonian Automobile Enterprises arrived at a a sectoral agreement that will raise bus drivers' minimum monthly income by 18 percent to 945 euros in three years.
"The negotiations took very long and were difficult," ETTA Chairman of the Board Jaan-Hendrik Toomel told BNS on Monday.
That the new sectoral agreement was concluded for three years gives bus drivers a feeling of security, he added.
Under the agreement concluded, bus drivers' minimum monthly income and hourly wage, respectively, will increase to 835 and 3.50 euros next year, 895 and 3.75 euros in 2018, up to 945 and four euros in 2019.
Bus drivers' 35 days of annual paid vacation time will also be preserved under the new agreement.
"The wage hike in the first year could have been bigger, but this is the compromise that was made," said the union leader.
The agreement was reached regarding bus drivers' national minimum wage, which applies to all market participants by law. Companies that wish to pay their drivers more are free to do so as well.
"We are currently holding talks with companies such as Atko and Sebe regarding increasing wages there too," added Toomel.
Negotiations between the union and the Association of Estonian Auto Enterprises lasted almost a year and involved the warning of a potential bus drivers' strike at one point as well.
ETTA's initial demand was for bus drivers' minimum monthly income to be increased from 800 to 900 euros immediately.