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Unions would raise minimum wage to half of average pay

Chairman of the Estonian Trade Unions Confederation (EAKL), Peep Peterson.
Chairman of the Estonian Trade Unions Confederation (EAKL), Peep Peterson. Source: (ERR)

The Estonian Trade Union Confederation (EAKL) wants to peg the minimum wage to the national average and to increase it to half of the average net wage.

“At present we are at 40 percent, which means that we would have to move faster by one percent every year than the increase of the average wage,” the chairman of EAKL, Peep Peterson, told BNS on Wednesday. This was the proposal that the unions would make to the Estonian Employers Confederation.

“This should be consistent also with the German example. While we will not make €650 in three years, we will follow the same logic,” Peterson added.

Before Tuesday’s meeting of the governing board of EAKL, Peterson said that judging by the minimum wage in Germany, which is €1,498 a month, and the productivity in that country, the reasonable level of the minimum wage in Estonia would be €650 a month. He said that based on this, the unions wanted to make a proposal to the Employers Confederation to increase the minimum wage in Estonia to €650 a month within three years.

The minimum wage has been an agreement between the country’s employers and employees’ organizations. It is a tradition that the new level of the minimum wage is then endorsed by the government as well.

In recent years, EAKL and the Employers Confederation agreed the size of the minimum pay for two years at a time. The currently valid minimum wage is €2.78 per hour, and €470 a month for people working 40 hours a week.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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