Minister awaiting chance to broker long-term teacher pay plan in government

Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200).
Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200). Source: Ministry of Education and Research

Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) intended to seek a government mandate at Monday's coalition council regarding with what proposals she can contribute to a long-term plan for teachers' wages, however Monday's council meeting was canceled as the prime minister is on a planned two-day working visit to Washington.

As a result, the education minister's discussion with the government regarding how and by what means it would be possible to raise teachers' wages from 2025 was postponed.

"There's no money to raise education workers' wages next year, however my proposed compromise in wage negotiations with education employees is a long-term plan that will set their wage conditions for the years 2025-2027," Kallas told ERR. "But first the government needs to agree on what my proposal for that long-term plan is."

State, local government and education worker representatives should thereafter meet to discuss the issue.

Following a nationwide one-hour warning strike on Friday morning, a meeting between representatives of education personnel, local governments, the Ministry of Education and Research and Estonia's public conciliator later that day failed to result in an agreement regarding teachers' wages.

It was decided, however, that Kallas as education minister would request authorization at the coalition council to conclude an agreement with the Estonian Education Personnel Union (EHL) regarding teachers' wages. The public conciliator is to await the results before issuing their own proposal Wednesday regarding whether and how to resume wage negotiations.

The EHL had sought an 11 percent increase in teachers' minimum wage for 2024. The education minister, meanwhile, had proposed to the government an 8 percent wage, however an increase of just 1.77 percent was ultimately agreed upon in this year's state budget negotiations for next year.

Unsatisfied with the wage offer, the EHL appealed to the public conciliator, who on October 2 accepted the labor dispute between the union and the ministry into conciliation proceedings.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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