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Teachers to get €1,500 bump in salary this year

Increases fleshed out in government, MUT agreement published yesterday

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Teachers’ monthly wage will rise by at least €119 next month as the first in a series of increases is handed out to educators.

The raise comes as a result of the new collective agreement signed between the government and the Malta Union of Teachers last month.

The agreement, which applies to all teachers, learning support educators (LSE) and kindergarten assistants working in State and Church schools, was made publicly available on Saturday.

According to the agreement, teachers who have been in the job for less than eight years will get paid an additional €1,544 this year. By 2022, teachers will take home €5,807 more than the amount they were paid last year.

Those who have been in teaching for more than eight years will be benefiting from an increase of €1,676 this year, while those who have been in the profession for a further eight years will be receiving €1,753.

Teachers with over 20 years of experience will receive an additional allowance of €2,000 “in recognition of experience and contributions in the classroom”.

Apart from the increases in their wages, teachers will also benefit from additional special leave, which they can take during the scholastic year. Instead of about 26 hours per year, teachers will now be able to take 32.25 hours of special leave.

As from the start of the new scholastic year, teachers may also benefit from quicker progression to higher salary scales if they opt for “professional development” on a voluntary basis.

According to the new agreement, teachers who accumulate 360 hours of self-sought continuous professional development (CPD), which involves ongoing training, will be able to progress to the next pay scale in six years instead of eight.

Watch:Government offers teachers tripled allowances and 'more than' 5% wage increase

As part of efforts to ease teachers’ work loads, non-contact time – the time spent not giving lessons – will also be increased. Secondary school teachers will not have more than 24 lessons per week, with contact time not exceeding 19.5 hours. Contact hours for primary school teachers will not exceed 25 hours.

The non-contact time is to be used by teachers for administrative, curricular and other activities, such as attending meetings for up to 60 minutes per week, the agreement stipulates.

In an attempt to enhance inclusivity at schools, as of the scholastic year starting in September 2019, all classes will be assigned an LSE in addition to those assigned to students who require one-to-one support.

The measure, to be introduced at the kindergarten and primary levels, will come into effect first at Kinder 1 level and incrementally at the consecutive levels in the subsequent years.

Half-yearly exams will also be abolished in place of continuous assessments.

The new agreement comes after months of discussions between the government and the teachers’ union, with the latter threatening the government with strikes as the two struggled to find common ground.

The agreement was signed following a consultation process wherein union members were provided with the new measures and asked to provide feedback on each one.

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo said that as a result of the agreement, educators were being given the dignity they deserved and their conditions would be improved to make carrying out their duties easier.

Main perks in new agreement

■ By 2022, teachers will benefit from a minimum increase of €5,807 compared to last year’s pay.

■ Instead of about 26 hours of special leave per scholastic year, teachers will now be able to take 32.25 hours of leave.

■ No more than 24 lessons per week, with contact time not exceeding 19.5 hours for secondary school teachers.

■ Starting in September 2019, all classes will be assigned a learning support educator (LSE), in addition to those assigned to students who require one-to-one support.

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