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Wednesday 20.03.2019 | Name days: Made, Irbe
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State Audit: non-transparent teachers’ pay system creates risk of misuse of state funds

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe unclear, confusing and non-transparent teachers’ pay system creates risks of misuse of state funds and the profession’s prestige, says Latvian State Auditor Elita Krūmiņa.

Latvia’s State Audit has performed an audit, looking at whether or not state grants were used legally to finance teachers’ pay and how contributed to the teachers’ pay system in municipal education institutions and regulations that govern this system. It was concluded in the audit that the system requires improvements on a state and municipal schools level. It has also been concluded that it is necessary to improve control over state grants.

The audit was performed in Auce, Burtnieki, Kocēni, Koknese, Krimulda, Krustpils, Ķegums, Nereta, Salas and Vecumnieki counties and 32 of their education institutions.

Looking into the matter on wages, State Audit found that none of the schools included in the audit have fully complied with regulations. It was concluded that teachers’ workload and wages are set by the school administration. Only 12 out of 32 schools have a wage calculation order. 5 out of 32 schools have a detailed order for payment of higher wages. At the same time, it is also concluded that bonuses are added for regular work. For example, bonuses are paid to teachers in Kocēni for class upbringing or cleaning up the classroom before teaching begins.

In the context of bonus pay, State Audit found that bonuses are paid using criteria that were never explained to teachers. Even when schools have criteria for paying bonuses, they are usually ignored. Bonus pay worth EUR 44,000 was paid without any assessment of personal contribution last year. Another EUR 32,000 was paid with only formal assessment, the State Audit concluded.

SA also found that four of the inspected municipalities do not follow the requirement that states how 20.43% of state grants are intended for the school principal, vice-principal and support personnel. Not a single municipality follows the requirements on 13.5% of grants to be provided to teachers for performing additional tasks and increase of their monthly rates.

As for work logs, State Audit found that only eleven schools log hours missed by teachers for different reasons, in which cases substitute teachers were scrambled to ensure children are provided with lessons regardless. Overtime, however, was not logged in any of the inspected schools.

State Audit also concluded that although Education and Science Ministry has tried for the longest time to form a pay system based on teachers’ personal contribution and work intensity, what has been accomplished is not enough.

Elita Krūmiņa stresses that state grants for teachers’ pay exceeds EUR 320 million. This matter is important to approximately 28,000 teachers in Latvia. «Unclear, confusing and non-transparent pay system not only creates risks of misuse of taxpayers’ money but also negatively affects the prestige of the teaching professions,» she says, adding that the state cannot afford this.


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