Education and Science, Labour Unions, Latvia, Wages

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 19.05.2019, 15:45

Latvian Teachers' union considers protest in response to government’s failure to keep pay rise promise

BC, Riga, 18.02.2019.Print version
The Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA) is considering a protest in response to the government’s failure to raise teachers’ wages as scheduled, the union’s leader Inga Vanaga told LETA.

The LIZDA council is due to meet this Wednesday, February. The first part of the meeting will take place behind closed doors, but later LIZDA representatives plan to talk to government officials – Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity), Education and Science Minister Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party) and Finance Minister Janis Reirs (New Unity), as well as lawmakers representing the Saeima ruling coalition.

Vanaga said that some LIZDA members called for action, including protests, already in January when the signals were received that the teachers’ wages might not be increased in line with the schedule approved by Latvia’s previous government. At that time, the trade union decided to wait until the new government gets approved and see if there were grounds for the teachers’ concerns.

Since the promised pay rises were indeed postponed, the LIZDA council now plans to discuss staging a protest to demand the fulfilment of the government-approved decisions.

As reported, Latvia’s new government has decided to tackle the issue of teachers’ wages in the 2020 budget, it follows from the remarks made by Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins’s (New Unity) earlier this month.

Asked if the financing necessary for the promised pay rises for teachers has been provided, the prime minister said that this is largely a “technical budget”, which has to be adopted as soon as possible. As for Saeima’s earlier decisions on “even steeper pay raises for teachers”, they will be included in the 2020 budget, “when we start developing our own policy instead of passing a technical budget,” Karins said.

The premier agreed that raising teachers’ wages was an objective necessity.

This means that the previous government’s plan which provided for gradually raising the teachers’ wages from this year until 2022 will not be implemented.

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