Maltese teachers among few getting a pay rise
Maltese teachers in State schools, who will be receiving a 2.5 per cent annual pay rise in the coming five years, may count themselves lucky compared with the situation of their colleagues in the EU.
According to a new report issued by the European Commission, during the past year, 16 European countries reduced or froze teachers’ salaries in response to the ongoing economic downturn.
On the other hand, remuneration for Maltese teachers still increased through the cost of living adjustment.
The report shows that teachers in Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Slovenia were the worst affected by the austerity measures, seeing their wages being cut over the past year.
The salaries of teachers in other member states, including Italy and Cyprus, were frozen.
Greece has cut teachers’ basic salaries by 30 per cent and stopped paying Christmas and Easter bonuses, while Ireland slashed salaries of new teachers by 13 per cent.
According to the report, ‘Teachers’ And School Heads’ Salaries And Allowances In Europe 2011/12’, Maltese State school teachers received between €23,326 and €30,904 gross per year.
Teachers in Malta are not among the best paid in the EU, although some of their colleagues fare much worse. The best paid teachers are those in Luxembourg with an average annual salary of €75,471, followed by teachers in Denmark (€46,152) and Wales (€41,304).
At the other side of the scale, those in Romania were by far the worse-off, having an annual salary of just €9,614. They were followed by Bulgaria (€10,405) and Latvia (€12,948).
In Malta, teachers in the private sector are normally paid higher rates than those in State schools although salaries differ slightly between schools in line with teachers’ level of experience. Teachers in Church schools are usually paid as much as those in the public sector because their salaries are mainly paid through public funds.
European Education Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou appealed to member states to treat teachers’ remuneration and working conditions as a “top priority”, noting that they played a vital role in the future of the EU and member states.