PSZ demands reasonable salaries and workloads for teachers in Hungary, who successfully finished the school year despite COVID-19


Teachers and education personnel in Hungary have shown remarkable adaptability and commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic. They worked hard to ensure that the school year ended as normal, with students able to take their school-leaving exams. However, a new survey from ETUCE member organisation PSZ has revealed the incredibly difficult situation that many teachers in the country face.

Speaking at an online press conference, PSZ President Zsuzsa Szabó insisted that teachers need both salary increases and more reasonable workloads. The 4281 respondents to PSZ’s survey revealed the many hours of work outside teaching hours that education personnel in Hungary have to perform, much of which is not captured in other studies like the OECD’s TALIS reports. What is more, many teachers in Hungary have to take on private tutoring or second jobs because of low salaries. The toll of this situation on teachers’ personal life is clear: 48% said that they are scarcely managing their domestic responsibilities while 44% say that doing so requires an excessive effort on their part.

It is therefore not surprising that only 11% of respondents say they feel well able to cope with their professional situation, while 15% are planning to leave as soon as they can. When you consider that many of those who say they are staying are in fact about to retire, the impending teacher shortage could be truly disastrous for the Hungarian education system.