The interpellators referred to the inquiry from the Estonian Education Personnel Union which referred to an international study revealing that, in Estonia, the remunerations of teachers are one of the lowest when compared to the national average salary. As a result of that, the teacher’s profession is not attractive because the salary is not competitive.
The interpellators wished to know the extent of the planned salary rise for teachers next year.
First of all, the minister pointed out that the OECD study referred to in the interpellation does not include all countries, so we cannot say that we are in a very complicated situation on the global scale.
Lauri explained that the minimum remuneration rate for teachers can be raised to at least 1000 euro, and the average remuneration could thereby rise to at least 1200 euro. Exact data will be available after specification of the data on students during the coming weeks. As we know, these data are fixed as at 10 November, and the calculations are still being made.
“The teacher’s salary is among priority issues, and the growth of the salary fund in the budget was 3 per cent. 1.3 per cent will be added to that on account of the costs of private schools, and this will make the growth of the salary fund 4.3 per cent, that is, at least 11 million euro,” Lauri said. She added that the reduction in the social tax rate would add more possibilities, that is, a growth of 0.3 per cent, that is, 4.6 per cent in total. “Besides, the Ministry of Education and Research is trying to find additional resources from internal reorganisation of the area of administration,” the Minister noted.
Lauri explained that the minimum remuneration rate for teachers is the minimum remuneration rate, and the salary very much depends on the employer. For most of the teachers, the local government is the employer, and not the state. “I am very glad for the local governments who have contributed their own funds in addition to the state funds. However, at the same time we have also local governments who do not pay education support in the whole amount, and unbelievable though it may be, they number 65. Last year this meant that in total 30 per cent of local governments did not pay all education support funds. This is a very big number,” Lauri said.
“The calculations that have been made in the Ministry of Education and Research at the moment do not include the contribution of local governments, by the way. If local governments can top up the amount singled out by the state, even to the current extent, the salary level will be higher,” the Minister said.
Lauri also replied to the interpellation concerning the working hours and salary calculation of teachers (No 264).
The Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur replied to the interpellation concerning the language training for new immigrants (No. 275).
The Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski replied to the interpellation concerning the reduction of treatment waiting lists (No. 261).
The interpellators withdrew from the proceedings the interpellation concerning the organisation and quality of the current emergency medical care service (No. 258) and the interpellation concerning the unjustified requirements set for rural enterprises (No. 256), submitted to the Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski.
The sitting ended at 4.48 p.m.
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