The coalition agrees on increasing the lowest rate for pedagogues from September 1

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By RockedBuzz 6 Min Read

On Monday, the coalition has conceptually agreed on increasing the lowest hourly rate for pedagogues from September 1, the “New Unity” politician, Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs and the chairman of the “United List” Saeima faction Edgars Tavars informed today after the meeting of the parties forming the government.

Anda Chaksha
Anda Chaksha Photo: Zane Biter/LETA

On Monday, the coalition has conceptually agreed on increasing the lowest hourly rate for pedagogues from September 1, the “New Unity” politician, Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs and the chairman of the “United List” Saeima faction Edgars Tavars informed today after the meeting of the parties forming the government.

Expected rates will be officially known when the government decides on the proposal of the Ministry of Education and Science. It is provisionally expected that after the changes in pre-school education, the lowest rate could be 7.75 euros per hour and in other levels – 8.5 euros per hour.

Discussions on certain financial issues will continue, including the salary of pedagogues under the Ministry of Culture, Rinkēvičs explained.

In the Ministry of Education and Science (MES), the LETA agency was informed that the minimum salary increase schedule for teachers developed by the MES is for the period from September 1, 2023 to December 31, 2025. According to this schedule, from September 1 of this year, the lowest hourly wage rate for teachers will be increased to 8.5 euros (7.75 euros for preschool teachers).

The Ministry of Education and Culture explains that the agreement reached is an important decision that envisages enshrining in the regulatory documents the schedule for the further increase of teachers’ wages for the coming years as well, in accordance with the principles of the increase of teachers’ wages and the planned performance indicators determined in the Educational Development Guidelines for 2021-2027.

The schedule presented by the Minister of Education and Science, Anda Čakša (JV), foresees that in the future, by increasing the lowest hourly rate for preschool teachers every year, in 2025 the lowest hourly rate for preschool teachers will be equalized with the lowest rate for other teachers. Also, the schedule foresees an increase in the lowest monthly salary rate for academic staff, starting from September 1 of this year.

“I believe that a convincing step has been taken today to start raising the minimum wage for educators already this year. This is especially important for those education workers who receive a small salary. I am very happy about the united and constructive position of the coalition partners, conceptually supporting our offer,” says Chaksha.

The representatives of the parties forming the government coalition decided to define the details of the implementation of the agreement in the next two weeks, related to clarifications of financial sources, including the remuneration of teachers of educational institutions under the Ministry of Culture. After that, the salary increase schedule for pedagogues and the documents that foresee the necessary changes in the regulatory acts will be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval.

Ilze Zālīte, a representative of the Latvian Education and Science Workers’ Union (LIZDA), told LETA that the Ministry of Education’s proposal to raise the lowest rate for pedagogues does not meet what LIZDA requested. The solution proposed by LIZDA was to increase the average cost per pupil, so that the pedagogue would receive one euro more for each hour worked than before.

Zālīte explained that already in Riga, Pierīga and some other municipalities – a total of 23 – teachers already receive 8.5 euros per hour worked or even more. Therefore, according to the proposal of the Ministry of Education, the teachers of these municipalities will not have any salary supplement.

Accordingly, with the solution of the Ministry of Education, the biggest sufferers will be the teachers of Riga and Pieriga, explained Zālīte. The solution would be an increase in the average cost per pupil.

It has already been reported that, without receiving a clear promise from the government and the ministry of industry to fulfill the promises given to educators and to direct specific state budget funds to raise the salary of educators and balance the workload, the LIZDA council has decided to give the government until March 15 to incorporate amendments into the regulation regarding the fulfillment of strike demands . If this is not done, on April 24, a protest march will start a strike of all Latvian teachers.

The Minister of Education and Science, Anda Čakša (JV), in an interview with Latvian Television’s “Rīta panorāma” program, previously said that the schedule for balancing teachers’ salary and workload required by LIZDA will be approved at the government meeting on March 14.

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