The Estonian Educational Personal Union (EEPU), one of EI’s national affiliates, has joined a successful demonstration supporting educators’ justified salary demands, held on 25 October in the capital city, Tallinn, in front of the Riigikogu (the Estonian Parliament).
Followed by around 10% of all educational staff, the action was joined by railway, cultural and medical unions, as well as the parents’ union and students.
EEPU President, Sven Rondik, detailed: “EEPU’s proposal to the Estonian Government was to raise the minimum levels for teachers’ salaries by at least 20% by 1st January 2012. Teachers participating in the action criticised both the Parliament and the Government for neglecting to implement a raise in teachers’ salaries, while this represents a clue as to how the teacher’s job is valued.”
During the negotiations held on 19 September, the Estonian Government deemed it impossible to raise teachers’ salaries by 1st January 2012, considering it more important to keep a balanced state budget. There was therefore no additional resource allocations planned for teachers’ salaries in the draft budget presented to the Parliament.
Based on this fact, Mr. Rondik added: “We request the necessary resources being allocated in the 2012 state budget to meet teachers’ justified salary demands.”
A union delegation was received by the Parliament’s Speaker, Ms. Ene Ergma, to discuss about problems teachers face concerning their work and salary conditions.
EI strongly supports its affiliate, welcomes the Estonian authorities engaging in negotiations with teacher unions, and urges them to take appropriate measures guaranteeing national educators decent work conditions and salary.