Municipalities should contribute to pay rises for education workers, Minister of Education Mailis Reps said on Wednesday, after facing criticism that next year's budget gives teachers a pay rise of €65.
Speaking on Wednesday evening on ETV's Esimene stuudio Reps (Centre) said: "When it comes to wage increases, local governments need to contribute in addition to government money. There is a conscious plan to increase the proportion given by local governments."
Reps said ideally, she would have liked to further increase teachers' salaries but the budget did not allow it. She said educational staff were disappointed because they had high expectations as the average salary continues to increase.
The minister said the minimum wage for teachers' salaries had also risen for the last three years. "There were raises of five and ten euros recently. At the moment, €65 euros was the increase we were able to offer," said Reps.
Katri Raik (Social Democrats), who appeared on Esimene stuudio alongside Reps, said: "If we want to be a smart country and a nation, we need teachers who are well paid. Teachers pay is over the average, they work above their load. In any case, it is clear, education must be more a priority than it currently is. Teachers expect to be paid more than € 1,400 a month. It is clear that salaries must increase."
Editor: Helen Wright