Ministry Plans 15% Minimum Salary Rise for Teachers
The Minister of Education has revealed a plan, the first one to specify numbers, by which the minimum gross monthly salary for teachers would rise by 15 percent next year to 700 euros.
The Education Personnel Union, which goes on strike tomorrow and is demanding a 20 percent minimum salary increase, called the proposal unacceptable.
In order to achieve the 15 percent increase, the government would need to keep education spending at 7 percent of GDP and carry organizational reforms in the grade school system, Jaak Aaviksoo said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Currently, the minimum salary is 608 euros for a teacher who has just started out and 736 euros for a senior teacher.
The union's demand for a 20 percent increase would require an additional 69 million euros from the budget this year, 123 million euros next year and 172 million euros in 2014, according to Aaviksoo.
“Satisfying such demands is not affordable or justified for the national or local governments," the minister said.
Sven Rondik, chairman of the Education Personnel Union, was not impressed. "This statement cannot be taken seriously," said Rondik. "It is a political not an economic decision. The budget cannot just be political [...] Estonia is supposedly doing better as a country, but, in reality, there are no signs of this anywhere. The government is looking for excuses not solutions.”