Teachers ready for June protests

  • 2012-05-16
  • From wire reports

Valdis Dombrovskis says Ministry’s offer is reasonable.

RIGA - Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) hopes that the situation with teachers, who have threatened to strike, will be solved, reports LETA. “At the moment, the Education and Science Ministry is in talks with the teachers’ labor union, and I myself will also be involved in the discussion. I hope we will be able to solve this situation,” the prime minister said on May 10.

Dombrovskis also confirmed that the Education and Science Ministry’s proposals in regard to teacher salaries are “reasonable, from a budget perspective.”
Finance Minister Andris Vilks (Unity) said that, according to the Finance Ministry, while “transformations” are taking place within the Education and Science Ministry, there is no need to make amendments to allocate additional financing for teachers. He praised the fact that additional financing has been found in the Education and Science Ministry’s budget, which will be allocated to those teachers who receive the lowest salaries.

If by the end of May there is no dialogue under way on increasing salaries, teachers will stage protests in Riga already in June and go on strike at the beginning of September, warns the Latvian Education and Science Workers Council.
The Education and Science Workers Union wants meetings with President Andris Berzins, Prime Minister Dombrovskis and Finance Minister Vilks.
“At the same time, we will try to be heard at regional discussions organized by the Ministry of Education and Science, which will begin this week,” Latvian Education and Science Workers Council spokesman Edgars Grigorjevs said last week.

Latvia’s associations of education employees previously urged the government to increase the minimum monthly wages for teachers 10 percent from Sept. 1, and increase budget subsidies to local governments accordingly. The associations also demand that salaries for teachers, including academic personnel and employees at scientific institutions, be increased another 10 percent from Jan. 1, 2013.

So far, Education and Science Minister Roberts Kilis has only agreed to increase teachers’ minimum monthly wages by 10 percent.