Estonian education employees continue their strike

  • 2012-03-08

TALLINN – Estonian education employees today continued their three-day strike, which started on March 7, for demanding a 20 percent pay rise for teachers, National Broadcasting reports.

According to the Education Employees Union, a bit over 16,000 teachers started a strike yesterday all across Estonia; that number contains both school teachers and kindergarten teachers.

Since it was left up to the teachers how many days out of the planned three strike days they would be on strike and how, by Thursday many schools had resumed study work. For example while in Tallinn, according to the city's education board, 64 schools and 59 kindergartens were on strike on Wednesday, on Thursday 34 schools and 30 kindergartens do not have an ordinary work day.

On Wednesday, several meetings across Estonia took place, the biggest of them in Tallinn, where an estimated 3,500 teachers convened in Vabaduse Square to hold speeches.

Several other profession and trade unions have expressed support to the demands of teachers and for example several thousands of medical workers also held a one-hour support strike on Wednesday.

Estonia Trade Unions Central Union, which this week is organizing strike actions in several spheres of life to demand that the government freeze processing the collective labor agreements law, also expresses support to the demands of teachers.

Education employees demand the minimum wage of teachers to be raised by 20 percent this year. Before the start of the strike, education minister Jaak Aaviksoo made a wage increase offer to teachers, promising to raise the minimum wage of a teacher from the current 608 euros to 700 euros a month or 15 percent from next year, which Education Employees Union has rejected as inadequate.