The provisional estimate of the cost of the new teachers’ pay model in Latvia for the entire 2022-2023 academic year is at EUR 406 million, the chairperson of Latvian Education and Research Workers’ Trade Union (LIZDA) Inga Vanaga has said after a meeting with the world group of the Ministry of Education and Science.
She said the ministry’s estimate would definitely shock residents, because the amount was enormous. The trade union, meanwhile, intends to follow the ministry’s calculations so that it is clear how this amount is planned to be used.
Members of the work group were asked, among other things, if the ministry had a backup plan if the provisional amount – EUR 406 million – received no backing from the government. Modra Jansone, senior expert of the ministry’s Education Department, said parallel estimates were in the works, but she did not reveal any details.
She did comment, however, that the suggested EUR 406 million was a very indicative amount and it was generally on condition the workload for teachers was divided 60 to 40 (60% – direct duties, 40% – other duties). Jansone explained that current estimates of the ministry’s work group were based on the number of students reported as of September 1, 2020 and teachers’ current rates. The amount may change following updated estimates of the number of students and changes to teachers’ work load this year.
At a previous meeting Jansone mentioned a different amount and the same work load (60 to 40) – EUR 220 million for the entire academic year. She also said at the time that this amount, too, was very indicative and did not include all the nuances.
The head of the work group – Liga Buceniece – mentioned that the group had plans to meet one more time – on April 23. She explained this decision was made so that members would discuss specific proposals and start preparing a report for the Cabinet of Ministers. This report may be submitted to the government around mid-May.
Buceniece also said work on the new pay model for teachers would continue for one more year. It is also planned to have independent experts look at the new model.
The new pay model for teachers in Latvia is planned to be adopted until September 1, 2022. Exact estimates of the costs for the state budget are expected to come soon. Buceniece said multiple experts, including ones from the Bank of Latvia, would be called in to check for any mistakes. The ministry also plans to perform an audit of the whole thing.
Jansone said all calculations were scrupulous and complicated. In the future it is planned to simplify everything, while preserving all the important nuances.
Around the end of January, the work group composed by Latvian Ministry of Education and Science to improve the existing pay model for teachers convened and discussed options to have the minimal wage of pre-school teachers reach EUR 870.
As of September 1, EUR 830 is to be set as the minimal wage for teachers in Latvia. This means the hourly rate is EUR 6.91 for secondary education and EUR 5.18 in pre-school education. The plan is increasing the hourly rate of pre-school teachers by another 5%, which would mean setting the lowest wage level at EUR 870.
Once the ministry’s work group has completed its task, the final report and estimates will be submitted to the Saeima for approval. (BNN/Business World Magazine)
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