Minister supports rescue workers' pay rise

  • 2000-08-17
TALLINN (BNS) - After meeting with representatives of Tallinn and Harju County rescue workers on Aug. 10, Interior Minister Tarmo Loodus agreed that the rescue workers' wages must be increased.

Loodus admitted that rescue workers' motivation must be raised as soon as possible to keep workers on the job.

According to an Interior Ministry spokesperson, nearly 20 percent of the rescue workers in Tallinn and Harju County are replaced mainly because of low wages.

"It costs the state nearly 100,000 kroons ($5,977) to train a rescue worker, so the state loses nearly 10 million kroons yearly as a result of the labor drain," the spokesperson told BNS. Loodus asked the rescue workers' representatives to put the firemen's desired pay figures down on paper so they could be then discussed by a meeting of fire and rescue service chiefs.

Loodus also discussed issues of higher wages for specialized firefighters as well as state insurance.

He found that payment of compensation in the case of industrial accidents to rescue workers or their families must be precisely regulated.

Tiit Tammaru, chairman of the trade union which represents rescue workers, said rescue workers want extra pay for rescue workers with special skills to motivate them to upgrade their qualifications.