Czech Republic: Education trade unions’ petition yields results

On 12 January 2018, František Dobšík, Czech and Moravian Trade Union of Workers in Education (ČMOS PŠ), ETUCE member organisation in Czech Republic, together with the Trade Union of Higher and Academic Education, had a successful meeting with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Andrej Babiš, and the Minister of Education of the Czech Republic, Robert Plaga. The main topic of discussion was a request for increased funding of education and better rules for the financing of education, science and research in the country.

During the discussion, the education trade unions handed over the petition “ For quality education” to the government officials. The petition, which had been signed by 23,058 citizens, was asking the Czech government to increase the budget for education, science and research sector.

According to ČMOS PŠ, education has been mentioned as a priority in programmes of all the political parties represented in the Czech Parliament and, therefore, the political parties should take steps to fulfil the promises they made.

As a matter of fact, the education trade unions ask for:

  • allocation of 6% of GDP per year to education;
  • salaries of education personnel to reach 130 % of the average income in the country by 2020;
  • increase in salaries of education personnel to approx. € 1,700 in the average per month and education support personnel to approx. € 873 in the average per month by 2021.

The Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said that: “The government considers education as one of its priorities. First of all, there should be clear and transparent rules for setting the salaries of pedagogical workers. According to the plans of the government, teachers´ salaries are to reach at least 150% of the current level by the end of the parliamentary term in 2021.”

The Minister of Education, Robert Plaga, agreed that between 10 to 12 billion CZK (around € 450 million) should be invested into salaries in education next year. He also pointed out that the increase in salaries in education should be planned in stages.

Welcoming the successful talk, Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director said “I congratulate ČMOS PŠ and the Trade Union of Higher and Academic Education on the fact that their enormous efforts have been rewarded. Only effective social dialogue and fulfillment of governments’ responsibilities can lead to positive changes both in education and society as a whole.