Gross salaries of teachers and other school personnel may increase by 7.5 percent next year following talks between the government and representatives of the education sector's trade union on Monday, December 3. This would in effect result in a pay increase of an average of €40 per month for teachers and non-teaching school staff.
Whether the trade union will accept the Cabinet's offer, which was tabled in talks spanning more than two and a half hours, is to be determined at a special session of the trade union, most likely on Wednesday. "I never said we're backing off. We are sticking to our guns," said union head Pavel Ondek before adding that the trade union still has to discuss the issue. The government continues to stick to its offer of a 5-percent pay-rise to teachers and non-teaching staff. In addition, however, the Government suggests a measure whereby funding from the Education Ministry would be diverted from local municipalities directly to schools [to make up the outstanding 2.5 percent].
"This is a significant move forward that we can make amidst these difficult times," said Education Minister Dušan Čaplovič. While schools can currently spend 10 percent of what they receive from the ministry towards salaries and operational expenditures, the government suggests squeezing the percentage to zero so that all funding would then be spent on teachers' salaries. As part of the ministry's concessions, the cabinet would introduce a guarantee whereby teachers, upon completing 25 years of work in the sector and reaching the age of 55, would automatically have the right to continue to work in the sector until reaching the retirement age.
The strike that began last Monday morning (November 26) was suspended by the trade union two days later so as not to increase the financial losses of striking teachers. Those who join a strike are not given their salaries for the duration, and they still have to pay their payroll taxes and health insurance. As well, the strike was put on hold in light of the fact that representatives of the government had begun to negotiate with the trade union over their demands. The teachers have been demanding a 10-percent pay rise.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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4. Dec 2012 at 10:00