Tallinn city official wages to be indexed again

Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) at a Tallinn city council sitting.
Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) at a Tallinn city council sitting. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

While Tallinn city officials dropped wage indexation at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last March to express solidarity at a tough time, the city government will restore wage indexation as the economy recovered.

Tallinn city council discussed a draft bill on Tuesday, which would restore wage indexation for the city council chair and deputy chair, as well as city government members.

This means the city officials' wages will be indexed with the highest wage salary index provided in the Salaries of Higher State Servants Act. The index is published by the Ministry of Finance on March 15 and it has always been more than 1, meaning a wage increase can be expected.

The index depends 20 percent on the annual growth of the consumer price index and 80 percent on the annual increase of social tax pension insurance receipts.

City officials dropped wage indexation temporarily in March last year.

The draft bill's explanatory memorandum states that the conditions brought by the coronavirus pandemic and its emergency situation in Estonia caused city government members and city council chairmen to lose wage indexation to express solidarity at a tough time.

"The forecast economic downturn has not materialized and the city's revenue base has increased. Therefore, it is justified to follow the salary policy established by the city council and the indexation procedure, which is analogous to the wage principles of top public sector managers," the memorandum reads.

The Mayor of Tallinn and the city council chairman currently both make a gross wage of €6,100 a month, deputy mayors receive a gross wage of €5,200.

Leaving deputy mayors to receive benefits

As a result of the Tallinn city government coalition agreement signed by Center Party and the Social Democratic Party, the former lost two deputy mayor seats and replaced another.

Former deputy mayors Kalle Klandorf and Eha Võrk received a payout worth six months of their monthly salaries, meaning €31,200. Both had been deputy mayors for longer than a decade.

Aivar Riisalu will be paid three months salary, meaning €15,600. Riisalu was deputy mayor for more than three years.

Opposition Isamaa Party Tallinn region chairman Olle Koop said the practice of paying leaving deputy mayors benefits must be stopped. "Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) has said that Kalle Klandorf resigned as deputy mayor at his own request. If a person resigns at their own request, paying them benefits is not justified," Koop said, adding that the problem goes back many years.

"The job of a city government member ends with their term. Everyone that takes the position up knows to consider that. The coalition already arranged for Klandorf to fall softly in the seat of the city council co-chair and he will now be paid tens of thousands," Koop added.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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