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Uncertainty over money for teachers’ pay rise

Though the government has offered schools money from the state budget that should be distributed in such a way as to ensure it is allocated to salaries and not transferred to cover school administration costs, it is not clear that the proposed approach will work, the Sme daily has reported.

Though the government has offered schools money from the state budget that should be distributed in such a way as to ensure it is allocated to salaries and not transferred to cover school administration costs, it is not clear that the proposed approach will work, the Sme daily has reported.

According to the Education Ministry, the move would mean a 2.2-percent hike in gross salaries. In addition, some of the money set aside for salaries could be transferred between schools.

Yet municipalities say that even now they give nearly all of the money allocated by the state for schools to pay for salaries, Sme wrote.

Last year, for example, the government gave elementary and secondary schools about €967 million, of which only 1.1 percent went towards administration of schools and school facilities, according to the report of the Education Ministry on the management of schools in 2011.

This proposal was criticised by the New School Union (NŠO) whose representatives said that “the money for schools should [be distributed] without mediators, directly from state coffers to the school’s account”, according to the TASR newswire.

Meanwhile, several representatives of schools and teachers’ unions said they see the proposed 7.5-percent salary hike as a good compromise. Yet, the teachers emphasised that the current discussion must not be exclusively about pay rises, but about the future of the education system in Slovakia, TASR reported.

The government’s proposal also includes a guarantee whereby teachers, upon completing 25 years of service and reaching the age of 55, would automatically have the right to continue to work in the sector until reaching retirement age. Nonetheless, Slavomír Drahoš, a unionist from Bratislava’s Ladislav Sára Grammar School, said that while this is a good bonus, “nobody has asked for it”, TASR wrote.

Sources: Sme, TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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