VILNIUS – Teachers have been offered a 10 percent pay rise from January, and their wages would also increase by 21 percent in total next year, Education, Science and Sport Minister Gintautas Jakstas said on Friday.
"We have presented an unprecedented proposal in our history, both in terms of budget and salary changes, and teachers' salaries would increase by 21 percent next year. The first step would be to add 10 percent from January," Jakstas told reporters on Friday after a negotiating meeting with trade union representatives. "We have not yet heard the decisions and the position as we understand that they need to consult with their staff as well."
Teachers working under the updated general education curriculum will also receive more money, the minister said, adding that with the overall increase of the pay budget would amount up to a quarter. This means that all teachers can expected a 21 percent pay rise next year, while those working under the updated curriculum can still expect an additional increase of up to 6 percent, he said.
Andrius Navickas, head of the Lithuanian Education Employees' Trade Union, said after the meeting that his union would look into the proposals, adding that the decision to go on strike has paid off.
"We realize that we made a very good decision to go on strike as it helps to negotiate and the negotiations are gaining momentum," the union leader added.
The Lithuanian Education Employees' Trade Union held a warning strike last Friday and plans to launch the actual strike on 29 September as it is demanding a 56 percent pay increase for teachers.
Another trade union – the Lithuanian Education and Science Trade Union – also mulls joining the industrial action. Its leader Egidijus Milesinas says the ministry's proposed salary increase is unsatisfactory, adding that teachers' pay must increase by at least 10 percent from January.
On Tuesday, Jakstas agreed with the trade unions on the reduction of the number of schoolchildren in classrooms from September 2024, and also said an analysis of teachers' workload would be carried out by the end of the year.
The government is committed to bringing teachers' salaries to 130 percent of the national average next year.