Unlike other times, the talks are open this time. In them, the Union and the Ministry exchanged criticisms about whether targeted grants had been correctly calculated.
LIZDA leader Inga Vanaga emphasized that the purpose of the meeting was to understand whether everything has been done and explained correctly at all levels – educational institutions, local governments, and state level. Ināra Dundure, councilor of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments for Education and Culture, also invited the Ministry to assess whether everything has been done and stop pointing fingers.
It has already been announced in public that in several municipalities, the targeted grant paid out by the state is not enough this month to ensure the increase of teachers' remuneration and introduction of balancing of loads.
Vanaga also told the media that several municipalities had not had enough of the state's targeted grant. The problem is in the calculation methodology, which was originally developed on incorrect data. At present, the consequence is that new formulae have been developed, but previous methodologies have not been adapted.
However, at the meeting with the trade Union, the representatives of IZM stressed that no submissions of local governments regarding problems in the calculation of the earmarked grant had been received, so, in their opinion, it was not justified to say that many teachers were affected by this situation.
LIZDA information shows that some teachers' salaries have dropped by a few tens of euros to 200 euros.
Vanaga urged teachers facing a pay cut not to put up with the situation. It should initially be spoken to the management of the educational establishment and the local trade union and can be further addressed at the municipal level. But in the absence of a solution, LIZDA also developed a sample submission with which teachers can approach LIZDA and the State Labour Inspectorate.
“Whether it's a big school or a small school, an educator doesn't have to be a victim of applying an inaccurate methodology and don't have to put up with a pay cut,” Vanaga said.
The aim of the trade union's joint meeting with the IZM was to call for mistakes to be acknowledged and to try to address them, but the objectives could not really be achieved. There was no common view between the two parties.
The trade union will still address the IZM with an official letter and, after receiving a reply, a meeting should also be held with local government and school leaders. There are currently no protests planned as LIZDA hopes to continue talks.