Government agrees modest pay rise for Latvian teachers

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The government on June 18 adopted draft amendments to regulations for teacher’s pay providing for raising the minimum monthly wage for teachers from EUR 710 to EUR 750 for a 30-hour working week, the LETA newswire reported.

In order to ensure the increase of the teachers’ minimum wage, the government decided to provide EUR 713,824 for this purpose from subsidies to local governments and EUR 6,944,658 from redistributable budget funds.

The Education and Science Ministry had indicated that the pay increase will require EUR 7.66 million in this year’s budget and EUR 22.97 million in 2020.

"Together with municipalities and cooperation partners, we are continuing to implement reforms aimed at raising the quality of education and increasing the attractiveness of the teaching profession. One of the most important aspects of motivating young teachers to enter schools is wages. I am pleased that we have achieved a common understanding of the need for change and the need to increase teachers' salaries,” said Ilga Šuplinska, Minister of Education and Science.

Finance Minister Janis Reirs (New Unity) said that there are still no legal grounds to allocate an additional EUR 20 million for the teachers’ wages in Latvia’s 2020 budget as the debating of next year’s budget will only begin in August.

The schedule of the increase of teachers' salaries in the government was approved on January 15, 2018. It is expected to gradually increase teachers' salaries over the next five years, reaching a minimum of 900 euros by 1 September 2022.

As previously reported, the council of the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA) had decided to organize an indefinite strike in September if teachers’ pay rules are not amended by the end of June.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) told the press on Monday that the coalition has resolved to make the decision on allocating the necessary funding for raising teachers’ wages, recognizing that the reforms planned in the sector have been launched.

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