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Teachers' Union Members Back February Strike

'Is a teacher's salary an expense or an investment?' asks this sign at a rally at the Parliament building.
'Is a teacher's salary an expense or an investment?' asks this sign at a rally at the Parliament building. Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The head of the nation's Education Personnel Union has said that his group is going ahead with preparations for a teachers' strike in February now that a poll has shown that 70 percent of its members support the idea.

Sven Rondik, whose union is demanding that the government push through a 20 percent salary rise for teachers, had noted last month that such a poll would be conducted before any action was taken.

Speaking to ERR radio, Rondik noted that the law still requires that the union meet with the Public Conciliator to ask for permission to strike. Until that authorization is given, the union has the right to plan the strike, but not set a date, he said.

Kindergarten teachers would also take part in the planned strike, according to Rondik.

The current minimum salary level for teachers was set in 2008.

Earlier this month a report published by the Ministry of Education appeared to shift part of the blame for teachers' salary woes onto local governments, saying that average teacher salaries in the nation would have been 4.3 percent higher in 2010 if local governments hadn't paid them less than what the government had earmarked.

 

Steve Roman

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