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Estonian government meeting on Monday to discuss teachers' pay

Kristina Kallas.
Kristina Kallas. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

On Monday, the Estonian government will hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss teachers' pay. An offer made on Friday by Minister of Education Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) for a three percent increase to teachers' minimum wage is unlikely to be accepted by the teachers' union.

"There is an extraordinary government meeting today, where they will decide how to resolve the matter. Either the minister's proposal will remain as it was on Friday: a 3.1 percent increase in the minimum wage for teachers, or they will find a way to distribute all the money intended for the wage increase differently, so that most of the money goes on a minimum wage increase and the government also finds money to increase the differentiation fund," Reemo Voltri, head of the Estonian Educational Personnel Union (EEPU), told ERR.

According to Voltri, the decisions made in the government's extraordinary session will determine the next steps taken by teachers when it comes to salary negotiations.

"We will see what the government says, then towards Monday evening we will definitely be able to say what happens next. Information from the government will arrive in the first half of the day, and after which we will be able to announce our steps," Voltri said.

On Friday, during a meeting with EEPU representatives, Minister of Education Kristina Kallas put forward a proposal to allocate €8 million in state funds to provide a pay rise for teachers. Doing so would raise teachers'  minimum salary by three percent to €1,803 per month.

Voltri said the offer was unlikely to be accepted, but that the union's council would discuss the issue. Estonian  Public Conciliator Meelis Virkebau after Friday's meeting, that he was optimistic about the situation.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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