Wages for bus, tram, trolleybus drivers will increase over the next three years making the minimum wage more than €1,000 starting in April 2020, under a draft agreement put forward by unions.
The Union of Estonian Automobile Enterprises and the Estonian Transport and Road Workers' Trade Union revealed the draft agreement on Thursday.
From April 2020, the minimum salary of the sector would rise to €1,050, and increase by an addition €100 for the following two years, the Transport and Road Workers' Trade Union said in a press release.
The minimum wage agreed would be mandatory for all employers and employees in passenger transport within the meaning of the Public Transport Act regardless of the type of contract signed.
Chairman of the board of the Transport and Road Workers' Trade Union Ullar Kallas said that the current €945 minimum salary of public transport drivers has become outdated, But the new agreement achieved also does not correspond to the situation of the labor market.
"Low salaries have brought the entire sector into a crisis with an extensive labor shortage reigning there," Kallas said, adding that 74 percent of bus drivers are 51 or older and the new generation taking over accounts for only six percent.
"In fact, it is wrong to say that there is a severe labor shortage in this sector, but it would be more correct to say that this sector is suffering from a severe shortage of decent wages. In fact, the entire public transport sector needs extraordinary wage increases to ensure sustainability," he added.
The general work agreement project can be viewed from December 12 on the websites of the parties to the agreement and all those interested can submit their written and reasoned opinions until January 12, 2020.
The parties to the salary agreement believe that an effective collective agreement will help significantly improve the competition situation in the transport sector. The agreement is to be signed in January 2020 and extended conditions set for the sector will enter into force from April 13, 2020.
Editor: Helen Wright