The 2019 state budget recently adopted by the Riigikogu will allow for rescuers's monthly salaries to be increased by an average of 23.6% to €1,000, the Rescue Board said.
According to Director General of the Rescue Board Kuno Tammearu, this will be the largest wage increase yet at the Rescue Board, and all agency employees will benefit from it.
"I am very grateful to everyone who has been involved in achieving this in some way or another," said Tammearu. "With every salary change, my main wish has been to value education and the career system."
He added that a strong Rescue Board is needed to ensure the safety of everyone in Estonia.
"We are given strength by people, but in order to find and retain good and capable people, we have to be competitive on the labour market," Tammearu explained. "We also have to motivate those interested in advancing within the organisation and working to become the head of a brigade or a regional manager, for instance."
The Rescue Board's payroll budget for next year is set to increase by €7.9 million, or 20%, €5.8 million of which will go toward raising wages on the brigade level.
Rescuers' salaries will increase the most beginning with the new year, when rescuers' average basic salary will increase from €808 this year to €1,000. 11% of additional overnight and holiday pay will also be added to rescuers' basic salaries.
"The new year's salary raise is an intermediate victory on a journey aiming to ensure that rescuers' salaries equal the average wage in Estonia by 2020," Tammearu noted.
The salaries of Rescue Board employees in other areas are set to increase by an average of 15.4%.
The Rescue Board is the third largest public sector organisation in Estonia. It employs approximately 2,200 people.
Editor: Aili Vahtla