Daugavpils municipal employees penalized for insufficient Latvian skill

An examination of the State Language Center has revealed that four Daugavpils Education Board accountants do not speak the official state language – Latvian – at the required level. The inspection at the administration started after a complaint was received, Latvian Television reported on September 2.

On the basis of the complaint, the State Language Center went to check the Daugavpils Education Board a few months ago. The language skills of accountants have been evaluated and four have been found to be insufficient. Persons have been administratively fined.

"What [later] takes place in such an institution with such staff shall be directly dependent on the management of the institution concerned. What measures will they implement, whether they will continue to work, or they will have an order, for example, to go through training to improve state language skills," Vilnis Kušķis, head of the regional division of the State Language Center, said.

The accountants have been given time to improve their skills and prove them by the end of November.

“I think at some point the times when the employer has to have a headache that their employees don't know the language should end,” said Marina Isupova, head of the Daugavpils Education Board, adding that if someone hadn't learned the language, “Good-bye then.”

The results of the test have not been a surprise. “The extent of their knowledge was sufficient to carry out their duties. But we knew it was like that. All four are pre-retirement age. As much as we could, we were supportive,” Isupova said.

The head of administration expressed confidence that if other employees were to be checked, there would be no issues.

"We also have council members who do not know Latvian. They try to stutter something out, but they can't. They can say things at the basic level, but they have issues transitioning to Latvian smoothly like we Latvians transition to Russian," said an accountant Mārīte Plotciņa.

In Daugavpils kindergartens this year also some teachers will not continue work due to insufficient state language skills.

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