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Experienced Teachers’ Salaries at Same Level as Minimum Wage of Skilled Workers

Hungary Today 2021.02.23.

The wages of teachers in Hungary are so low that the basic salary of those working in the sector with 3-5 years of professional experience does not exceed the level of payment of the monthly minimum wage for skilled workers.

Economic news site Portfolio created a summary about the evolution of teacher salaries over the past couple of years.

According to the summary, in 2019 the salaries of entry-level teachers with bachelor’s degrees (BA / BSc) were less than the monthly minimum wage for skilled workers. Since then, the wages of teachers were supplemented to reach this level.

Following the minimum wage increase in 2020, the salaries of entrant teachers with a master’s degree (MA / MSc) had to be adjusted to the minimum wage for skilled workers as well.

Teacher Demonstrations in Budapest for Better Wages and Working Conditions
Teacher Demonstrations in Budapest for Better Wages and Working Conditions

Teachers’ trade union PSZ held a demonstration in Budapest on Saturday, with support from other teachers’ unions, demanding higher wages and a reduction of the burden on teachers. Participants who gathered in front of the Parliament called for pay hikes, reducing the number of teachers’ working hours, support for those starting their career in education, […]Continue reading

Furthermore, as a result of this year’s (very modest) minimum wage increase, the guaranteed minimum wage has caught up with the basic salary of teachers who already have 3-5 years of professional experience, passed their two-year internship period, and then passed the qualifying exam.

Under current legislation, the government only has to raise the salaries of entrant teachers each year to reach the monthly minimum wage for skilled workers (currently gross HUF 219,000/EUR 610) as it is forbidden for someone with an academic degree to have a lower salary than a skilled worker.

The news site asked the Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI) if they plan to raise teachers’ salaries this year.

“In addition to the economic challenges posed by the coronavirus epidemic, there was a 10% salary increase in 2020 in the form of a sectoral professional allowance for all teachers, and the allowance for heads of institutions and deputies also increased significantly. The government is, of course, constantly examining the possibilities for further developing the system of benefits and incentives for teachers,” they replied.

Featured photo illustration by Attila Balázs/MTI