Slovak education ministry proposes 6% salary rise for teachers

By bne IntelliNews May 17, 2016

Slovakia’s education ministry has put forward a bill amendment to raise teachers’ salaries by around 6% at the start of the next school year on September 1, fulfilling a promise outlined in the coalition government’s manifesto, local media reported on May 17.

Some 11,000 teachers took to the streets in early March after the government at first offered a 4% pay raise for 2016. That followed on a 5% raise for the previous three years. It is unclear whether the coalition government of incumbent Prime Minister Robert Fico has sweetened the deal enough to prevent further action. Teachers said the government manifesto, released on April 13, had failed to meet demands.

The education ministry’s bill calls for salaries to rise each year as of January 1, 2018, if significant internal changes in the education system are adopted, TASR reports. The government also committed itself to increasing the salaries of university lecturers and introducing a special salary scale for lecturers.

The average gross salary for elementary and secondary school teachers in Slovakia was €997 per month in 2014 – above the national average, according to education ministry data. But teachers say the figure includes maximum bonuses, for which not all are eligible.

Furthermore, Slovakia’s spending on education, at 2.5% of GDP, is among the lowest in the OECD, and educators have demanded that it rise by at least €400mn annually until spending reaches 6% of GDP.

Currently, Slovak educators also earn less than their colleagues in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary – where teachers have also staged high-profile protests in recent weeks.

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