The monthly salaries of both kindergarten and school teachers in Estonia will increase in 2018, with the average monthly salary of school teachers to increase to at least €1,380 per month, the Ministry of Education and Research announced on Wednesday.
Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps (Center) is to meet with leaders of professional unions and municipal associations on Wednesday to agree on the new minimum salary level for teachers.
"The government has agreed in talks about next year's state budget on the allocation of additional funds for teacher salaries, which will allow us to raise teachers' minim wage to €1,150, or by €100 from the current minimum," spokespeople quoted Reps as saying.
Teachers' average wages will increase to at least €1,380 next year, as the government will provide municipalities with money for the differentiation of teacher salaries as well. Thus, it is possible that teachers' average wages may increase even more than expected next year.
In addition, the government will provide municipalities with money for increasing the salaries of kindergarten teachers as well. "Kindergarten teachers' minimum wage will reach 90 percent of the minimum wage of teachers of general education schools and will become equal to that of school teachers for kindergarten teachers with a master's degree," Reps said.
While kindergarten teacher wages varied widely by region at the beginning of the year, ranging from €520-1,087 per month, beginning Sept. 1, all municipalities have raised the wages of kindergarten teachers to at least €840, or 80 percent of the minimum pay of school teachers.
Kristi Mikiver, director of the Teacher Department at the Ministry of Education and Research, said that teachers' individual incomes are affected by the fact that 44 percent of teachers in Estonia's general education schools work part time. "It is possible for school directors to reduce the share of teachers working part time through the organization of the work of a school," Mikiver noted. "Municipalities bringing their school networks into accordance with the number of pupils will also help offer full-time employment to teachers and thereby increase their pay."
Teachers' minimum wage in Estonia has risen from €644 in 2012 to €1,050 in September 2017; average wages, meanwhile, have increased from €812 in 2012 to €1,211 as of Aug. 31 this year.
Editor: Aili Vahtla