Government approves 2017 wage hikes for teachers
The Estonian government during its Thursday session approved a minimum wage regulation according to which teachers' minimum monthly pay will increase to from the current 958 euros to 1,000 euros as of January and 1,050 euros as of September 2017.
At the same time, according to a Ministry of Education and Research press release, additional funds from the state budget will allow for teachers' average monthly wages to increase to at least 1,200 euros during the first half of the year and to at least 1,260 euros in the fall.
According to Minister Mailis Reps (Center), the two-time wage hike is necessary to ensure that teachers' wages increase more rapidly than Estonia's national average wage.
"More rapid wage increases for both general education and trade school and kindergarten teachers is needed to motivate good teachers to remain and young people to choose the teaching profession," said Reps. "Teachers' minimum pay will increase a total of nearly ten percent compared to the current year."
Compared to this year, an additional 18 million euros is planned into the 2017 state budget for the labor costs of state, local government and private general education school teachers. Vocational training school teachers' pay is to increase next year as well.
The ministry will focus in particular on kindergarten teachers' pay in early 2017, working out the principles for motivating wage increases for kindergarten teachers in January. One of the goals of the new coalition government's action program is to help local governments increase kindergarten teachers' wages to at least match teachers' minimum wage.
By February, the ministry will also have worked out its principles for supporting local governments and support specialists in order to improve access to support services needed by children and youth.