President calls for speedy go-ahead on teachers' wage reform

Latvia's President Raimonds Vējonis thinks that the new teachers' wage model – which the teachers' trade union claims needs more work – should be adopted, with any shortcomings corrected later.

Appearing on Latvian Television's Rīta Panorāma Thursday, Vējonis said that the new model should be adopted so that teachers know how much they'll receive for work. That's why the model should go up for review by the government.

The Education Ministry will be able to further polish the wage model, and should any amendments be needed, they would be adopted by the government in an urgent manner.

"This model has to be pushed forward," Vējonis said.

The new wage model for teachers was presented with the Education Ministry saying that teachers' wages would increase by up to 62% (or €200 to €300).

However the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA) claimed that not a single teacher would see his or her salary increase so much.

Inga Vanaga, the head of LIZDA, told Latvian Television Wednesday that the new model doesn't take its suggestions into account and urged to continue work on the new wage model.

On Thursday, after talks with PM Māris Kučinskis and reaching compromise on several fronts, LIZDA opted to support the new remuneration model. 

One of the main points of compromise concerns state payments for the maintenance of boarding schools. Seeing as municipalities aren't ready to shoulder the responsibility over these schools yet, the state will continue supporting boarding schools for a period of time.

With that the school reform, for which €4.5m was missing from the Education Ministry budget, will now cost €9.3m.

If the state doesn't find the money within two weeks, the new remuneration model will not be introduced by the new academic year.

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