While Tartu is set to become European Capital of Culture in 2024, employees of four of its cultural institutions have threatened the city government with a strike unless their salaries are hiked.
"In a situation where employees of state-run museums will net at least €1,600 from next year, we have not been promised anything in terms of salary advance, Ants Siim, trustee of Tartu City Museum employees, told Delfi news portal. He said that employees sent a letter to the city government looking to start collective agreement negotiations this summer. While the law states that such requests need to be answered in seven working days, the museum employees whose monthly salary is just over €1,000 did not receive a reply.
Employees of four Tartu cultural institutions have now made a joint address, stating that a strike is imminent if the city fails to recognize their professional contribution. Ants Siim said that around 150 people would join the strike. "Many of the city's cultural workers hold down second jobs to make ends meet," he added.
Tartu Deputy Mayor Lemmit Kaplinski (SDE) admitted failure on the city's part to react promptly and said that hiking salaries in the field of culture is part of next year's city budget negotiations. Tartu cultural workers believe their monthly salary should be hiked by at least €300 in order for museum and library jobs to attract any candidates in the future.
Editor: Marcus Turovski