TALLINN - The Estonian Association of Teachers warned that teaching staff needs higher salaries to carry on their professional activities, reports the Estonian national broadcasting corporation ERR. The rights protection organization underlined in its official statement that schoolmasters have been overloaded with work and have been underpaid for years; in addition, their work is not easy, it says, and teachers are those who often deal with stressful situations.
“It is no wonder that they do not have the time or strength to stand up for themselves, because good teachers spend their days standing in front of the class and trying to present their subject matter to the students [...], regardless of the lack of study materials or technical equipment,” said the statement.
The Association supports the movement for increasing wages for teachers, which was launched on the online social networking site Facebook and has accumulated over 9,000 ‘likes’ in a week, noting that the time has come for recognizing the true value of the work that the teachers do.
The experts stated that teachers’ salaries are below the average national level; therefore, even the currently-negotiated 20 percent pay rise would be too modest.