Public conciliator fails to find middle path in minimum wage dispute
Representatives of employees and of employers failed to decide on how much to increase the minimum salary, despite the public conciliator attending talks.
The minimum wage, currently at 390 euros gross per month, is usually decided by umbrella organizations of businesses and unions. The Employers' Confederation proposed increasing the rate to 417 euros at the beginning of 2016 and to 448 a year later. The Trade Union Confederation offered the figures of 488 and 609 euros.
Public conciliator Henn Pärn proposed fixing the rate to the average wage at a rate of 41 percent. The average salary in Estonia was 1,082 euros in the second quarter, which means the minimum salary would be 444 euros. The rate would increase to 50 percent of the average wage in 2017.
Peep Peterson, head of the trade unions, said the average wage should be around 1,100 euros at the beginning of 2016. He said the number proposed by the public conciliator was not enough.
Peterson said they have talked to politicians, who usually keep away from minimum salary negotiations, and asked if the employers can be by-passed. “There has been talk of very high minimum wage demands in society and today's offer by the public conciliator does not reach that,” he said.
Toomas Tamsar, head of the employers organization, said he does not know of any deal in the coalition to change the minimum salary without the consent of the employers and the trade unions.