Illustratsioon: Mohamed Hassan, Pixabay

The changes to the salary rules of the University of Tartu passed through the university's document coordination workflow . The change will lead to an increase in the minimum wage rates in 2022. The minimum wage of the first pay grade will increase on 1 January 2022 according to the increase of the national minimum wage and the minimum wage of the other grades will increase on 1 March 2022. Only the Union of the University of Tartu and UT Narva College, whose thoughts were similar, gave their opinion on the draft regarding the raising the minimum rates.

The opinion from Narva College of the University of Tartu:

Mandatory salary increases in a situation where operating grants do not increase will lead to a situation where it may be necessary to lay off people - thereby increasing the workload of people remaining in work or creating a risk of a budget deficit. The general increase in wages can still only come with an increase in funding for higher education.

TÜAÜ's oppinion:

The Union of the University of Tartu acknowledges the goal of the University of Tartu to be the leader of the market in Estonia regarding academic salaries and to pay competitive salaries to support staff, and considers it right to increase the minimum salary levels.

The position of the Union of the University of Tartu is that when raising the salary, the university management must ensure the resources to cover the pay rise respecting the existing number of jobs and workload. An increase in salaries at the cost of a further reduction in the number of lecturers and researchers is not acceptable, because it is the people and the quality of higher education that suffer.

The response to the opinion of the Union of the University of Tartu, is written in the workflow (the answer to Narva College's opinion is somewhat different in wording, but the same in content):

Considered in part.

The issue of raising the minimum rates was discussed by the Committee on Budgets, monitoring the general budget of the university as a whole, and the necessary resources are available to the university.

The increase of the minimum rates was discussed in the Rectorate and the Committee on Budgets, which also includes representatives of the faculties. The university has the resources to raise the minimum rates.

At this point, it is up to the UT Union (as the authorized representative body of the employees) to monitor whether the resources needed to raise the minimum rates, which the university says are available, actually reach the faculties and then the employees' salaries (covering salary increases without reductions in employment and growing workloads). Feedback from institutes and other subdivisions is very valuable to the union to protect the interests of all employees.

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