Representatives of the Estonian Educational Personnel Union (EEPU) and the Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities (AECM) are set to meet with Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) in Tallinn on Tuesday to begin negotiations on introducing pay raises for teachers in 2024.
According to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, negotiations are to begin on increasing teachers' salaries by 2024. The negotiations will also have an impact on kindergarten teachers' salaries, as they are linked to the minimum wage for school teachers.
"Teachers are the foundation of our extremely high quality education. However, without providing competitive pay, it is becoming increasingly difficult to retain these people and recruit them to schools," said Reemo Voltri, head of the Estonian Education Personnel Union, in a press release.
"We are positive about the negotiations, because before Riigikogu elections, all political parties indicated that they understood the need to value the teaching profession. We are in favor of local authorities receiving additional state funding to increase the salaries of kindergarten teachers," Voltri added.
Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) confirmed that the issue of teachers' salaries was a key priority for the government.
"We will start a discussion with the teachers' union on raising the minimum teacher salary. Salaries undoubtedly play a major role in securing the next generation of young teachers, so a consistent increase is crucial. Motivating teachers is important, as is developing the management culture in schools and giving school leaders more scope to differentiate teachers' salaries - we are increasing the fund from 17 percent to 20 percent," said the minister.
The meeting will take place at the Ministry of Education and Research's Tallinn office.
The Estonian Educational Personnel Union (EEPU) is Estonia's largest representative organization and trade union for teachers and other education workers in kindergartens, recreational schools, general education and vocational education.
The EEPU is involved in negotiating agreements between educational institutions and local authorities, as well as resolving issues related to work, pay, working conditions. The EEPU represents teachers in salary negotiations with the government.
Editor: Michael Cole