Education and Science, Labour Unions, Latvia, Wages

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 15.10.2019, 12:05

Decision on pay rise for teachers will be taken as soon agreement on quality standards is reached – Kucinskis

BC, Riga, 05.09.2018.Print version
The government of Latvia will take the decision on raising teachers’ minimum pay as soon as there is an agreement on education quality standards, cities LETA referring to the Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers).

Kucinskis underlined that it was stated already from the beginning that the allocations for teachers’ wages will only be approved along with the quality standards. “We still have a week to debate and resolve this issue,” the prime minister said, promising to return to this issue in a week’s time.

Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Greens/Farmers) told that the parties concerned have already agreed on the pay rise for the teachers and that the money for this purpose would be provided. However, the financing will be increased only on the condition that the education quality standards are worked out as well.

The Cabinet of Ministers today decided to postpone its vote on raising teachers' minimum salary until next week as the government's cooperation and social partners had objections regarding quality and quantity criteria for high schools.

At the start of the government's meeting, Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) said that the criteria for teachers' salaries in high schools would be reviewed first, and only after that could the government vote on increasing teachers' minimum salary, as additional financing for raising teachers' wages would only be provided to schools meeting the criteria.

One of the main stumbling blocks today was the minimum number of students per class in high schools and requirements on centralized exams, suggested by the Education and Science Ministry. Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees representative Inga Vanaga said her union had a number of objections, including against inequality between municipal schools and private schools and the centralized exams' criteria.

Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments' representative Inara Dundure also said that the criteria on education quality were too high, while the quantity requirements - too harsh.

However, Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Greens/Farmers) supported the premier and said that increasing teachers' minimum salary would only be considered after the new criteria were approved.

Education and Science Minister Karlis Sadurskis (Unity) said that the criteria on education quality must not be compromised and that support should only be provided for those schools that meet the criteria.

The government eventually decided to postpone the matter until next week, and to organize several expert meetings by then.


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