RIGA - At present, the funds the government allocates to local government for increase of teachers' wages are being used inefficiently, therefore this matter should be solved at an extraordinary meeting of the council of the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA), said Education and Science Minister Anda Caksa (New Unity).
Caksa reminded that the school network has not been optimized in many municipalities. Local government spend more resources on premises and equipment instead of what is of greater importance - human resources.
Caksa said that the share of GPD allocated for education is similar to that in many other European countries, and wages in Latvia are similar to other Baltic states. It is important, however, how the allocated funds are used. The school network has not been able to adapt to demographic changes.
The minister also reminded that along with the budget funds, there are alternative funding that helps higher education and science, for example, the EU development funds, the recovery fund and others.
As reported, the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA) has decided to give the government time unto March 15 for the Education and Science Ministry to meet the strike demands, otherwise the strike will be started on April 24.
LIZDA head Inga Vanaga explained earlier that the biggest problem at the moment is that the ministry offers a salary increase and load balancing schedule, but does not specify the exact amounts and financial sources for these schedules. Vanaga also emphasizes that she cannot agree with the statement of the Ministry of Education and Science (IZM) about the additional EUR 61 million allocated to the sector, as this amount is supposed to be intended for balancing workloads and paying unpaid obligations. This money has nothing to do with the schedule.
LIZDA said that even though seemingly in September an agreement was reached with the ministry on the strike demands, analyzing the government budget documents, direct financing for these demands has not been allocated.