Trade unions: Postal service price hike essential for raising salaries

Eesti Post will continue providing Estonia's postal service for at least the next five years.
Eesti Post will continue providing Estonia's postal service for at least the next five years. Source: Urmas Luik/Pärnu Postimees/Scanpix

Trade unions support the 11.1 percent increase in the price of subscription services planned by Estonian state-owned postal and logistics company Eesti Post, which operates under the Omniva brand, as well as the postal company's plan to direct additional assets toward the salary increase of first-level postal workers.

The Estonian Federation of Communication and Service Workers' Trade Unions (ESTAL), the Transport and Road Workers' Trade Union (ETTA) and Eesti Post have launched annual salary negotiations for 2020.

Kadri Kangur, chairman of ESTAL, said that a public discussion over home delivery indicates that this service is important to people and must continue. "The current home delivery model needs modernization and, in order to alleviate the situation, trade unions have made proposals to make the price of the stamp and universal postal service processes cost-oriented and to amend the Postal Act," Kangur said.

For years, trade unions have been turning to governments as they considered unfair a situation in which the state takes out dividends from state-owned Eesti Post, but at the same time, most of the 1,700 first-level employees are earning a salary close to the minimum. This kind of a salary rate promotes great fluctuation of personnel and a decline in the quality of the service.

Ullar Kallas, chairman of ETTA, said that the quality of the postal service is very much linked to the motivation of the staff. "At today's salary level, it is very difficult for the company to retain and find employees. It is the task of the state to provide a universal postal service, but at a cost-oriented price that would guarantee a competitive wage for the employee," Kallas added.

The trade unions said that an additional price increase of subscription service will barely cover the expected increase in the minimum wage. 


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Editor: Helen Wright

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