Latvian teachers' union and government come to conceptual agreement

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The Latvian Education and Science Workers' Trade Union (LIZDA) and the government's representatives have reached a conceptual agreement on the increase in teachers' pay, with additional funding of €4.168 million, LIZDA's head Inga Vanaga and Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) said after a meeting on Tuesday, April 25.

On the second day of the teachers' strike, talks continued between the teachers' representative union and politicians. The first talks began Tuesday morning. As the Prime Minister previously told journalists, in the sense of the Ministry of Education and Science (IZM), the agreement stipulated that lower teacher salaries should be raised, but the trade union insists that not only lower but higher wages should be raised proportionally.

The agreement now provides that additional funding will also be used to raise wages for those teachers whose salary rate is currently above the minimum.

Additional funding of €4.168 million is now expected to be channeled to teachers' wages. This amount will be allocated in addition to the €9,039,833 already committed, which is covered by the amendments to the Cabinet regulations on teacher pay approved on April 21.

There will also be an increase in the wages of support staff – administration, speech therapists, and psychologists.

This agreement will be viewed by the government at an emergency meeting on Wednesday 15:00. The Prime Minister hopes that ministers will also support this agreement.

Karins stated: “We are forced to carry out this budget auditing, because otherwise we have only one thing to do, to offer to raise taxes in the country. Since I have not met anyone else who believes this would be a desirable direction, the budget should be redeployed, which means some consolidation in certain areas. The process will not be easy. I think it's going to be very complicated in terms of politics.”

If the government complies with this agreement, the LIZDA will not ask for the resignation of the PM Kariņš which it previously warned about.

Meanwhile, the teachers' strike will also continue on Wednesday, April 26.

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