Teachers’ wages should increase by 15% in 2020, PM Andrej Babis told Prima, a TV channel, on Sunday (Jan 13). He said that the government was still committed to increase the remuneration of people in the education sector, emphasizing on the importance of quality school education. He pointed to ANO’s campaign promise to increase teachers’ salaries by 50% from their level in 2017 by the end of its term in 2021, which the government is already working towards. We remind that this year, the salaries of teachers in regional schools will also increase by 15%, though this applies to gross salaries, rather than to base ones, which will be half that. Here is the main disagreement with trade unions, who want base salaries to increase by 10% or two thirds of the promised 15% hike, while Babis offers only a 7.5% increase in base wages, while the rest will go to various performance and experience bonuses. Essentially, the effective wage hike thus may be much lower than the 15% announced, since not every teacher will be eligible for the full 15% increase.
The final goal of trade unions is to make sure that teachers’ salaries are 30% above the national average by 2021, but it seems unlikely that this goal will be met. Currently teachers receive about 9% higher than the national average, but given growing labor shortages, unions demand a bigger increase in order to keep teachers at their jobs. Yet, we remain skeptical that Babis and ANO will agree to a bigger increase, as ANO has been pushing much more for bigger capital spending than wage hikes.