Teachers plan December demo, threaten stike

Teachers plan a large-scale picket outside the parliament building or Saeima on December 11 to demand more money, LTV reported Wednesday.

 

The Latvian Education and Science Workers Union (LIZDA) has settled on December 11 as a day of action - despite the fact that is one day after the cabinet originally planned to send budget proposals to parliament for approval before the end of the year.

However on Wednesday Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma said a draft budget could be submitted to Saeima by December 1 or even earlier.

Teachers want an extra €3m to be found for wage increases, LTV correspondent Līva Rauhvargere reported.

Unless their demands are met, teachers may strike to show the seriousness of their intentions, LTV said, first in a brief show of force and then on a more long-term basis.

The government has so far allocated €36m to education in the draft 2015 budget, and while the government has repeatedly said it will raise wages in the sector, LIZDA says the lowest-paid teachers would see their pay increased by a paltry €1 per month.

On average, a teacher takes home just €341 per month, the union claims, and 86% of teachers feel they are not fairly rewarded for their efforts.

Teachers' representatives met with Education Minister Mārīte Seile in Wednesday and while they expressed some support for a new pay structure, they expressed the view that more money needed to be put into the system.

The most recent teachers' protest took place on May 12 when around 7,000 participated in a protest demanding 10% wage increases.

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