02 Nov 2017

Wanted: Teachers in Bratislava

Elementary school teachers can no longer afford to live in the capital of Slovakia. If the costs of living continue to rise and teachers’ salaries don’t, Bratislava will be looking at full classrooms with no one to work in them.

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Wanted: Teachers in Bratislava - NewsMavens
Classroom. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Why this story matters:

Each year, fewer  teachers want to work in the elementary schools of Bratislava. The reason is mundane: they cannot afford to live in the capital. The costs of living are too high and their salaries depressingly low.

At the beginning of his career, a young teacher can expect to earn 550 euros per month. Renting a room in Bratislava costs around 300 euros, while the whole flat would be double this amount. The principals of elementary schools, who cannot find young employees, are trying to persuade retired teachers to return to work.

The discussion about salaries returns to the table at least once a year. Some argue that the salaries are fine, since the teachers do not work full time and the work itself is not that hard. But teachers disagree. They are desperate as they cannot afford to do their jobs, unless they have a wealthier partner to handle the bills. If it is not dealt with again this year, the issue will continue to come up because it is a crucial first step. If teachers cannot afford to do their jobs, how can we even begin to discuss reforms to the educational system?

Details from the story:

  • Teachers organized significant protests and strikes in 2015 and 2016. They were supported by many public figures and students who insisted on the necessity to improve the educational system in Slovakia.
  • In the capital, where the costs of living are the highest, the situation is the most critical.
  • The government promised to raise teachers’ salaries under the condition they will not strike and protest in the next years. The teachers refused.
  • The state budget does not include money to raise the teachers’ salaries in 2018. They raised them in September 2017 by 6 % and plan to do the same in January 2019.
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