Education Minister Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) told "Aktuaalne kaamera" that a salary increase for teachers for the next four years must be agreed on, because there is no other way to advance education in Estonia.
There was no agreement on teachers' pay in a meeting on Friday between officials of the Ministry of Education, the Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities (AECM), the national conciliator and the Estonian Education Personnel Union (EHL) and the state did not make a better salary offer to teachers on Friday.
Kallas said that although the situation was stressful at the end of summer during the discussion of the nation's financial strategy, the coalition should now sit down again and reconsider the possibility of a wage increase.
"I don't think there is any other way to develop education in Estonia; we must reach a long-term agreement with all parties represented at the table and so we can finalize this agreement," she said.
Kallas said she will deliver the text of a long-term agreement on educator pay raises to the coalition board meeting on Monday.
On the one hand, I propose that we agree on the rates of salary increases for teachers four years in advance.
"However, this also includes agreement on the school network reform, career, workload and salary model for teachers, because teachers expect not only a minimum salary increase but also the working conditions and salary model to be agreed upon, because overwork is still a significant stress factor for teachers," the minister said.
Kallas said that it has already been agreed what steps should be taken to increase wages over the next four years to reach the promised 120 percent of Estonia's average wage by 2027.
We also need political agreement inside the coalition that we are prepared to take on this effort. I sincerely hope that we can achieve an agreement.
Editor: Marko Tooming, Kristina Kersa
Source: Interviewer Margus Saar