Trade unions take minimum salary dispute to public conciliator
The Estonian Trade Union Confederation has asked the public conciliator to intervene after reaching a deadlock with the Estonian Employers' Confederation on the question of minimum wage increases. The two umbrella organizations set the monthly minimum rate.
The trade unions are asking for 488 euros gross per month from January 1, a sizable increase from the current 390 euros. The unions also want to increase that to 609 euros starting January 1, 2017.
Employers' representatives have offered 417 euros and 448 euros respectively.
“The employers' offer is already very decent. We propose to increase the minimum salary faster then the increase in the average wage, and the average salary is increasing quickly right now,” Toomas Tamsar, the head of the Employers' Confederation, said.
Tamsar added that the rate proposed by the trade unions would translate into 20,000 lost jobs for Estonia over the next few years.
Peep Peterson, the head of the Trade Union Confederation, said jobs would be lost, but the number would be closer to 2,000, adding that the Estonian economy can handle such minimum wage increases.
The rate has increased substantially in the last few years. In 2012 it was just 290 euros per month, increasing by 30 euros the next year, then by 35 euros in 2013 and 2014.