The cabinet approved a legislative amendment in a fast-tracked procedure on May 25.
The amendment was submitted by the Education Ministry, led by Peter Plavčan (Slovak National Party/SNS nominee), who has thereby fulfilled some of the commitments outlined in the Government Manifesto.
In the regional education sector, the cabinet committed itself to increase the salary scales for teaching and specialist staff by an average of 6 percent, from September 1. In addition, salaries will be increased each year from January 1, 2018 if significant internal changes in the education system are adopted. The cabinet also pledged to increase the salaries of university lecturers, the TASR newswire wrote.
The amendment also introduces a special salary scale for university lecturers. Currently, a single salary scale is in place for university lecturers, research and development staff and medical staff attached to the school system who currently do not receive remuneration according to specified regulations.
The hike in teachers’ salaries is expected to cost €32.5 million this year, of which the largest amount will be paid by the state, €6.5 million by municipalities and more than €330,000 by regions.
Amendment causes disputes
This step will help to make the teaching profession more attractive, Plavčan said, as quoted by TASR. He also announced that teachers’ salaries may rise again next year, although he refused to reveal any specific amount. According to Plavčan, the approved salary hike is also a reaction to the recommendation of the European Commission (EC) to raise the level of spending per GDP on education.
The Slovak Teachers’ Chamber (SKU), however, is asking for a €140-increase across the board by the end of this year. According to SKU vice-president Vladimír Crmoman, this is what would really increase the attractiveness of the teaching profession.
Several teachers’ initiatives are deciding how to continue to put pressure on the government. Political promises in the government's manifesto are insufficient, they say, and they liken the development of their salaries to fairy tales. If they accepted government promises, an average teacher would lose thousands of euros within four years, compared with their requirements, the Sme daily quoted them as having said.
25. May 2016 at 23:44 | Compiled by Spectator staff