The 800 billion forints expected from the European Union will be used to raise the average salary of teachers, meaning a 75 percent wage increase, resulting in a salary of HUF 800,000 (EUR 2,160) by 2025, the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior announced on Monday on the M1 news channel. Bence Rétvári added that 10 percent of the planned wage increases had already been advanced from the national budget in January, and as soon as the EU funds arrived, the difference would be paid retroactively.
The €800 billion scheme for wage increases is currently the largest in the European Union, he stated, adding that the government wants to maintain it until 2030 with domestic funding of 5,600 billion forints (EUR 15.1 billion), thereby preserving the value of wages.
According to the secretary of state, the Hungarian opposition cites the risk of corruption regarding the EU funds and the use of the money for the teachers’ pay increase, but he asked what the risk of corruption is in raising the salaries of 170,000 teachers by hundreds of thousands of forints. Bence Rétvári emphasized that the government is doing everything to give this money to teachers, adding that all the conditions for the transfer had been met. The status law should not be an obstacle to the payments either, as its purpose is to give teachers their own status. This can ensure that those who work more and better are paid more, the politician said.
Teachers’ demonstrations have been going on in Hungary for more than a year now, with various strikes and protests, sometimes even involving students.
Teachers have been demanding higher salaries, but anti-government voices have also been heard, and in many cases their demonstrations have become politically charged, casting a bad light on the demands. It is clear that it is time for a pay increase for teachers, but in the meantime, teachers and their unions have made so many demands that the truly important things have been lost. It is clear that the government wants to give the pay raise to teachers, but this largely depends on the European Union and whether the funds Hungary is entitled to will arrive in time.
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