Originally, Minister of Education Mikuláš Bek (STAN) talked about the fact that 8,000 unfilled non-pedagogical positions, such as cooks, janitors or cleaners, would be cut in schools. However, the school budget lacks even more money for these positions.
It follows from the official document that the last negotiated form of the budget does not include 17,000 places. This does not sit well with the school unions, who have already started talking about a possible protest.
“The situation is not desperate, but critical. That is why, as a trade union, we called for the activation of strike committees,” explains Markéta Seidlová, vice-president of the school committees. “The government is taking children hostage,” he claims.
The unions are asking for an increase in the budget by four to nine billion crowns, otherwise they will go on strike. This money should secure funds for non-pedagogues who have been cut.
According to data from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MŠMT), about 400 million crowns are needed annually for a thousand positions of cooks, cleaners and other non-pedagogues. If “only” the announced 8,000 vacant positions were to be cut, it would amount to four billion. For all 17,000 places, the amount would rise to seven billion.
The reaction of the Ministry of Education and Culture to the request of the trade unions is being investigated by Nauzal. The form of the budget for next year will be discussed in detail on Wednesday in the House of Representatives.
You can save on teachers
If there are cuts, the money would have to be paid to the schools by the founders – i.e. most often municipalities and regions. Otherwise, layoffs would have to be made, or there would be significant pay cuts. It is already calculated that all workers in the education sector – except for teachers – will get worse by two percent year-on-year.
School unions set an example. Even with personal evaluation and bonuses, a chef in the seventh grade earns roughly 36,000 gross today. “His salary will drop at least by the above-tariff components of his salary. So it will reach somewhere around 24,000 gross,” Seidlová calculates.
Stifling of non-pedagogues
It is very likely, however, that school principals will once again subsidize the salaries of non-pedagogical staff from teachers’ salaries, otherwise they may have a problem ensuring, for example, the functioning of the school canteen at all. Although teachers will not receive as much money as the government originally promised in its program statement, they can still count on an increase of around five percent.
“If the salaries of non-pedagogues should not decrease next year, then the director will really have to reach into the money for teachers,” says Seidlová, the vice president of the school unions.
Even in an ideal scenario, teachers’ salaries will not reach the promised 130 percent of the average gross salary next year. The Ministry has decided that it will always calculate this level from the previous year. Next year, the teacher’s salary should reach 113.5 percent of the average, according to the estimates of the Ministry of Education and Culture.