“Despite galloping inflation, teachers did not receive salary indexation after January 2020” – said the Council of the National Education and Upbringing Section of NSZZ Solidarność. The project of the Ministry of Education and Science concerning the professional status of teachers was rejected by trade unionists.
On Monday, the Council of the National Education and Upbringing Section of NSZZ Solidarność met. During the meeting, the changes proposed by MEiN in the field of professional pragmatics of teachers, concerning such areas as, inter alia, remuneration system, teachers’ working time and professional promotion. In the statement after the meeting, it was stated that educational Solidarity rejected the draft changes presented by the Ministry of Education.
It was reported that the council indignantly accepted the failure to implement the agreement concluded between NSZZ Solidarność and the government on April 7, 2019, and in particular the lack of linking teachers’ salaries with the average salary in the national economy. “The government thus undermines its credibility and public confidence in the purposefulness of conducting negotiations” – emphasized in the statement.
Educational “Solidarity” demand a significant increase in wages
It was indicated that the proposed “new” salary rates for teachers turned out to be postulates proposed many years ago and strongly rejected by the social side. “NSZZ Solidarność presented during the meeting of the team for the professional status of education workers its proposal to link teachers’ salaries with the average salary in the national economy in July this year. The statement of MEiN that no one submitted any proposals for discussion is false,” we read in the release. The Council notes that “despite galloping inflation, teachers did not receive salary indexation after January 2020, and the government’s bizarre proposal raises the salary by increasing the teacher’s working time and multiplying the so-called card hours”. “The government is deceiving the public by informing about the increase in salaries of several dozen percent. We do not agree to present only some aspects of teachers’ working time, to omit working conditions, and especially the fact that Polish teachers are paid the worst in Europe. which the government wants to fill with a significant increase in working time without additional financial outlays “- stresses educational” S “. He adds that such a radical increase in working time – an increase in the workload by 4 hours – will result in tens of thousands of dismissals of teachers, and twice as many people will work part-time due to the lack of hours, with a reduced salary. The union also has a negative opinion on the so-called reducing the bureaucracy of the teacher’s work. He reminds that this is also the unfulfilled postulate of the agreement of 2019. “The fact of the end of the European project, which caused more damage to Polish education than positive effects (external and internal evaluation), did not reduce school bureaucracy at all” – assesses “S”. “For many years we have struggled with two card hours, which were the cause of conflicts and introduced chaos in the work of educational institutions. They were criticized and finally liquidated by the current government. Now eight card hours a week are proposed under the banner of teacher availability and fighting bureaucracy. Practice has shown that it is an additional forcing the teacher to work without remuneration, without specifying the time and conditions of stay in the institution. It is only proposed that this stay at school must be accounted for in writing! ” – we read.
The simplification of teachers’ professional promotion was also negatively assessed. “The proposal, admittedly, eliminates the degree of promotion of the contract teacher at the expense of the four-year trainee degree, but introduces two additional degrees of specialization without specifying the financial gratification. The plan to create new institutions to evaluate the teacher undermines the legitimacy of the existence of pedagogical supervision of the education superintendent” – Solidarność points out. The union does not agree “to finance wage increases at the expense of lowering social benefits.” “We do not agree to reducing the amount of leave and forcing teachers to work when there are no classes for students at school,” it stated. The position paper indicates that the success of any restructuring depends on the consensus of the parties. “We do not see any room for negotiation because we did not receive a proposal to significantly raise the salary. Instead, we were offered a deterioration in working conditions and a loss of financial benefits. Implementing the planned changes will destabilize the work of schools, which will result in a deterioration of the quality of teaching. The authors of this proposal have the impression that they relied on it. using statistics, not knowing the real problems of the educational environment “- emphasized.
Project of the Ministry of Education and Science on the professional status of teachers
MEiN’s proposals assume, inter alia, reducing the number of career grades of teachers from four to three – eliminating the trainee and contract teacher – and introducing one in their place. The ministry also proposes to increase the weekly compulsory number of hours for teachers by 4 hours (except for pre-school teachers). He explains that changes in the number of employees will be related to staff movements, therefore it assumes a three-year transition period, which will allow for a flexible transition to the new system. Staffing solutions will take into account the teacher’s decision to increase the number of students with a simultaneous increase in the salary or the maintenance of the current number of students and the determination of the proportional base salary. At the same time, he proposes that a full-time teacher (with the exception of kindergarten teachers) should “be available” to students and teachers at school 8 hours a week.
MEiN also proposes to introduce the average salary of teachers instead of the average one, determined on the basis of the base amount announced annually in the budget act. It will be: for a teacher without a professional promotion degree – 140%, an appointed teacher – 181%, a certified teacher – 219%. base amount. The minimum rates of basic salary for teachers at individual levels of professional promotion will be set as a percentage of the average salary of teachers. The minimum rates of bonuses to remuneration – as proposed by MEiN – will be determined in amounts by way of a regulation. The Ministry states that after the introduction of the changes, the average salary rates for teachers were PLN 4,950 gross for a teacher with no professional promotion degree, for a nominated teacher – PLN 6,400 gross, and for a certified teacher – PLN 7,750 gross. On the other hand, the minimum rates of basic salary for teachers with a master’s degree and pedagogical training will be gross, respectively: for a teacher without a degree of professional promotion – PLN 4010, for appointed teacher – PLN 4540 and for a certified teacher – PLN 5040. All three union headquarters are in favor of linking teachers ‘salaries with the average salary in the economy: SKOiW NSZZ Solidarność, the Polish Teachers’ Union and the Trade Union Forum. For the second time, the PNA started collecting signatures under the civic draft amendment to the Teacher’s Charter. Last year’s signature collection was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Main photo source: PAP / Marcin Bielecki