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All general education schools in Tallinn to strike next week

Children at school during the warning strike at Kiili High School, Harju County in December 2023.
Children at school during the warning strike at Kiili High School, Harju County in December 2023. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Teachers from every general education school in Tallinn will participate in the strike starting on January 22, Tallinn Education Department said on Tuesday. In Tartu, 75 percent of teachers participate in the support strike.

In the capital, 2,800 teachers have already registered to take part in the Estonian education workers strike, said Pirgit Pedaja, communication specialist of the Tallinn Board of Education. Additionally, 500 teachers have signed up for the support strike.

"2,800 teachers is nearly 75 percent of all teachers in Tallinn," said Pedaja.

The number may rise as teachers had until 1 p.m. Tuesday to submit their applications.

Only teachers at Kadaka Elementary School, where children with special educational needs study, will not participate.

Estonia has 505 general education schools employing 16,942 teachers. Most schools in Estonia are run by local municipalities.

In Tartu, nearly 75 percent of teachers will take part in a support strike which can last for up to three days.

"The exact number will be known at the time of the strike, or even at the end of the strike, when the strike leaders forward the lists of workers who have taken part in the strike to their managers. However, based on the preliminary information forwarded, it can already be estimated that 75 percent of teachers in Tartu's educational institutions – both in schools and kindergartens – are taking part in the strike," said Riho Raave, head of Tartu City Government's Education Department.

The Estonian Educational Personnel Union's (EHL) strike starts at 1 p.m. on January 22 and is indefinite. Teachers are calling for higher wages.

The Tallinn Board of Education will pay striking teachers for three days. 

Educators in Tartu have signed a collective agreement with the city, which allows them to participate in a support strike of only three days. They will not be paid during this time.

The EHL wants general education school teachers paid a minimum salary of €1,950 per month.

Teachers sad they are willing to take a step back if the government agrees to enter into collective agreement talks for 2025-2027 this year.

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Editor: Mari Peegel, Helen Wright

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