Estonian trade unions want an increase in minimum salary, basic exemption

  • 2022-06-08
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The Estonian Trade Union Confederation together with sectoral trade unions are launching a campaign for collecting signatures in support of raising the minimum salary and basic exemption to 700 euros already from July 1.

Signatures are collected at workplaces, on the website and in urban centers. 

"The immense price growth is exasperating minimum wage earners. All of their income is spent on unavoidable expenses and they are still at least 120 euros short. Increasing the minimum salary and basic exemption to 700 euros would grant people 96 euros to make coping easier," the description of the petition reads on the website

At a trilateral meeting held at the end of May between trade unions, employers and government representatives, it appeared that because of a lack of interest from the partners, the minimum salary will not be increased mid-year and the ongoing inflation will probably not be alleviated by a raise in the basic exemption, either.

"It is not our custom to simply abandon what we have started. We deliberated and found a way how to peacefully, effectively and constructively bring the problem of price growth before the Riigikogu and employers," Peep Peterson, chairman of the Trade Union Confederation, said. "We're not giving up. The price growth problem needs to be resolved fairly before the fall, thus, we're calling on everyone to show their support by signing the petition."

A study of the minimum wage conducted a year ago shows that an increase in the minimum salary would affect some 50 percent of the workforce, that is nearly all employed people earning a monthly salary of up to 1,330 euros.