Latvia: A strike not only about money but also Government’s attitude


On 27 November 2015, the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science (LIZDA) organised a one day strike. About 25.000 people took part in this well-organised demonstration. According to LIZDA, the action was not a strike pointing out to money issues. Moreover, it was also about the Government’s attitude.

For a long time, the Latvian social partners have been asking for a new teachers wage model since the previous one, based on the principle “money follows the students”, has enlarged the equality gap between teachers of school of different areas in the country. The new wage reform proposed by the Ministry of Education risks even to worsen the situation: it not only cultivates the inequality among teachers but could also endanger the teaching working conditions. This new financial model, indeed, will decrease salaries for teachers in bigger schools and increase them for the ones in smaller schools.

LIZDA tried to propose some changes to the Ministry which have not been welcomed. As a consequence there would be is an impasse in Latvian social dialogue process. This situation led Latvian trade union to declare a one day strike in order not only to immediately improve the inadequate teachers’ salaries but also to ensure 10% of funds as required by law for higher education and science, since the State budget law has been approved without providing a sufficient budget for higher education and science.

LIDZA stated that that the action of 27 November was not only a strike about money but also about attitude. The organisation expects the Government to take into considerations the requests and the opinions of those who work in education and science sector and invest in the development of education and culture in the Latvian society.