Education and Science, Latvia

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 22.01.2021, 12:41

Latvian teachers to go on strike in September if their minimum wage is not raised

BC, Riga, 17.04.2019.Print version
The council of the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA) today decided to organize an indefinite strike in September if teachers’ pay rules are not amended by mid-May, informed LETA/BNS.

LETA was told at LIZDA that on April 23 the union will submit the Education and Science Ministry a letter demanding strong guarantees and legislative amendments ensuring compliance with teachers’ pay rise schedule as of September 1, 2019.

If the money necessary for raising the teachers’ wages as scheduled is not provided and the pay rise rules are not changed by May 16, the teachers will go on strike.

The LIZDA strike will begin on September 2.

The LIZDA council had a heated debate on whether to hold the strike in May or September. Teachers in all regions asserted their readiness for reforms but underlined that they have to be well planned. “This is no longer a struggle for EUR 40, because this would be a humiliating begging, but for the principle that politicians too have to respect the law and keep their promises,” representatives of the trade union said.

The LIZDA council on Wednesday discussed several alternative dates for calling the strike.

As reported, the LIZDA council on March 27 decided to launch a procedure for strike because the teachers were not sure that the government this year will follow the agreed timetable on raising teachers’ wages.

As reported, the ruling coalition parties have decided to propose a deal to teachers – include in the budget bills a possibility to raise teachers’ wages if the necessary funding is found and the necessary reforms are carried out, said Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said earlier.

The latest coalition’s proposal provides that money could be found by mid-May, amending the 2019 budget to ensure the promised pay rise as of September. EUR 1.7 mln out of EUR 9 mln necessary for increasing teachers' salaries had been found, and the remaining financing would be looked for through cooperation between teachers' union and the government.

Suplinska said earlier that the two sides today agreed on cooperation in drafting amendments to the 2019 state budget when the budget would be reviewed in the second reading. The amendments will state that the government resolves to increase teachers' salaries - on several conditions, including continuing optimization of school network.

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