Teachers to go on strike if new budget doesn't include wage rise

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Educators across Latvia are to strike at the Saeima in March if the government does not include a wage rise for teachers in the new budget, with teachers saying they will strike during the exit exams if this strike action does not work, reported LTV.

That's what the Education and Science Workers' Association (LIZDA) told the press after meeting government reps February 20.

PM Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) said that he doesn't have "a magic wand" to help find the missing funds for teachers' wages, and that if the teachers want to go on strike, he's unable to stop them.

LIZDA head Inga Vanaga earlier said that the new government is being held hostage, as the previous government, lead by the Greens and Farmers Union – now an opposition party – had approved a scheme to raise teachers' wages to at least €900 a month by 2022 but hadn't earmarked the funds.

It was thought money could be found if the school network was optimized – meaning schools with few students are either merged or closed, but LIZDA had warned earlier that even if that were to take place there still wouldn't be enough money.

Teachers' minimum salary was increased from €680 to €710 last year.

The minimum monthly wage in Latvia is €430 a month.

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