Every year for the last four years additional funding has been provided to teachers, but giving more money would not be a sustainable solution, because we have a generally non-reformed system, said Latvian PM Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview to Latvijas Radio programme Krustpunktā.
He said an education system reform is necessary and Minister of Education Anda Čakša is already hard at work on rules that will help municipalities pass necessary decisions to reform the school network and thereby find funding to increase teachers’ wages. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure all people in Latvia have access to high quality education.
«This is not about teachers’ wages increasing in the future, rather about ensuring a reliable source of funding. The source is having an organised system. We cannot afford injecting more money into an inefficient system. It needs reorganising,» said Kariņš, voicing hope that the education and science workers’ trade union will cooperate with the Ministry of Education.
The agreement reached with teachers last year and this year provides for allocation of nearly EUR 100 million towards teachers’ wages, which is the biggest increase so far.
At the same time, the PM said he does not know if it is possible to reach an agreement with Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA) within one month’s time. Kariņš also said he does not see how a strike could help resolve the situation. He added the government is committed to doing the education reform. At the same time the PM hopes to add the trade union to his list of allies, because «the trade unions have to understand that it will not be possible to continue increasing wages without the reform».
As reported, LIZDA gave the government time until the 15th of March to fulfil demands and prevent a massive strike of education workers. If not, the trade union will organise a strike on the 24th of April.
Also read: Minister outlines wage rise highly important for teachers in regions with reorganised school network