Minister outlines wage rise highly important for teachers in regions with reorganised school network

In municipalities that have reorganised school networks wage increase for teachers is especially important, said chairman of Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee Jānis Reirs in an interview to LTV programme Rīta Panorāma.
«Wage increase is especially important in municipalities that have implemented education system reforms, and teachers know this. Of course, there are also municipalities that haven’t done anything. These experience problems – wage increase is present as well, but it is not as high,» said Reirs.
He also said normally the Ministry of Education and Science received an average of EUR 30-40 million of new funds every year, but this year the budget has EUR 169 million.
At the same time, Reirs said the Budget Committee has analysed in detail why the healthcare sector has raised such a panic over receiving twice as much funding and the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA) even has plans for a possible strike at the end of April.

Reirs said this will not contribute to future reforms in the education system.

As previously reported, having received no clear commitment from the government and ministry to fulfil previously given promises in regards to allocation of additional funds towards teachers’ wages and balancing workloads, LIZDA’s council decided to give the government time until the 15th of March to settle the situation. If this is not done, Latvian teachers will go on a massive protest act on the 24th of April.
According to the head of LIZDA Inga Vanaga, the biggest problem at the moment is that the ministry offers wage increase and workload balancing schedule, but does not offer any clear information about any amounts and financial sources.
Vanaga also stressed she cannot agree to the ministry’s provided addition amount of EUR 61 million, because this amount is intended to cover duties not part of workload balancing plans. This money has nothing to do with the schedule the government needed to approve.
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At the same time, the ministry reminds that the state budget plan for 2023 includes historically the biggest wage increase for teachers. Looking at it in the context of the previous schedule – the additional EUR 45.5 million were included in the previous temporary budget plan. It was also decided to allocate another EUR 17 million to help increase student numbers and to adopt a new financing model.
The government plans to continue increasing teachers’ wages until 2025. The plan is to increase the hourly rate to EUR 10.35. The Ministry of Education and Science prepared an act for a wage increase schedule between the 1st of September 2023 and the 31st of December 2025.