Compared with the current minimal rate for 30 hours of work for teachers, the increase should be EUR 30 to reach EUR 710 for minimal teachers’ pay rate, according to the schedule for teachers’ pay rise developed by Latvian Education and Science Ministry.
It is stated in the schedule that minimal wage could be increased to EUR 750 on 1 September 2019 and to EUR 790 on 1 September 2020. A EUR 40 increase is also possible for 1 September 2021, so that wages reach EUR 830 for the aforementioned rate. By 2022, minimal wage for average work rate could be EUR 900.
In order to achieve such an increase for general education by 2022, the state budget will have to allocate EUR 103,639 million. This amount was calculated based on the current budget base. Education and Science Ministry sees a large portion of finances coming from sorting out the school network, as well as maintaining percentage distribution for education in the state budget.
On Tuesday, 14 March, Latvian Education and Science Minister Karlis Sadurskis announced that raising minimal wages will help reach EUR 10.7 pay per 1 hour by 2022 instead of the current rate of EUR 5.67 per hour.
Sadurskis admits that the situation in Estonia is far better specifically because the country managed to secure proper funding for teachers by sorting out the school network in time.
Education Department’s director Evija Papule notes that increasing teachers’ wages would require additional funding.
The minister adds that the average wages of teachers in the country is higher than minimal wages even though teachers in Latvia sometimes do not work full time.
«If the minimal defined wage in Latvia is EUR 680, this makes the actual average wage EUR 741 in the country. If we take this average wage, its hourly rate comes down to EUR 6.2. The difference is not as significant, but Estonia managed to make EUR 8.2 its average by sorting out its school network. As long as the fractured school network remains, average teachers’ rate will be 70% of the average in the country. Even in Riga teachers do not work full-time – only 0.83 of it. Estonia’s school network is better organized, this is why the average significantly exceeds the minimum there,» said the politician.
Sadurskis emphasized that it is important to ensure the current percentage distribution remains in the budget, making sure that economic growth of at least 2% also helps increase grants for teachers’ pay.
The minister also notes that all municipalities have to cooperate to achieve this result: «Speaking of organizing the school network, it is important that decisions are made by municipalities, as they are the founders of most schools, and they also serve as employers for teachers. Only by talking with municipalities can we achieve results.»