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Latvian government to allocate additional EUR 1.4 million for teachers’ wages

Photo: pixabay.com.
Latvia’s government has approved Education and Science Ministry’s prepared decision draft on provision of additional funding to municipalities to pay higher wages to general education teachers from 1 September to 31 December. More than EUR 1.4 million will be allocated and divided among 88 municipalities, as reported by the ministry’s representatives.

Additional funding will be paid to teachers (except for ones working at pre-school education facilities and special education institutions) working in municipalities that met the established student/teacher ratio in 2017/2018 school year, and municipalities that have performed school network reorganization activities in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Over the course of these three years, activities aimed to sort school networks have helped save up more than EUR 4.3 million.
 

«Municipalities that actively work to form modern and realistic school networks should be allowed to experience only the positive effects of their decisions. Nevertheless, it is also worth following positive decisions with stimulating mechanisms from the state,» says Education Minister Kārlis Šadurskis. The minister adds that a financially stimulating mechanism is a clear signal to demonstrate increase of teachers’ wages is real. Nevertheless, any positive changes are only possible is all sides work together.
 

«What we’ve seen from municipalities’ accomplishments so far allow us to predict more state funding will be allocated in future years, creating more opportunities for wage growth,» says Šadurskis. The minister says there is already positive development for teachers’ wages in municipalities that have accomplished much in establishing a modern school network that ensures fulltime work for teachers.
 

Data compiled by Education and Science Ministry shows that average wages for teachers have grown from EUR 701 in 2015/2016 to EUR 765 in 2017/2018 school years. In 77 out of 119 municipalities or 332 out of 662 the average wage of teachers is EUR 710 or higher.
 

«At the same time it should be said that so far average work load for teachers has grown by one week – from 22 to 23 hours a week. In most municipalities that are currently working on organizing their school networks average work load continues decreasing. This means the number of teachers will not reduce as a result of reorganization. This also means average wages will not increase in most municipalities. Data for teachers’ work load shows that almost 40% of teachers work full time or more. For most, tariffs range from 0.25 to 0.75, which means unjustifiably low wages,» the ministry explains.
 

Data also shows that in a municipality that has one strong secondary school formed on the base of two schools teachers’ wages have increased from 759 to 1000 EUR.

BNN

08-08-2018
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