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Teachers' salaries reduced or frozen in growing number of European countries

Commission Européenne - IP/12/1073   05/10/2012

Autres langues disponibles: FR DE DA ES NL IT SV PT FI EL CS ET HU LT LV MT PL SK SL BG RO

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 5 October 2012

Teachers' salaries reduced or frozen in growing number of European countries

Sixteen European countries have reduced or frozen teachers' salaries in response to the economic downturn. Teachers in Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Slovenia are the worst affected by budget restrictions and austerity measures, according to a report published by the European Commission to coincide with World Teachers' Day. Teachers' salaries in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Croatia and Liechtenstein have fallen slightly or stayed the same. However, the Teachers' and School Heads' Salaries and Allowances in Europe 2011/12 report also shows that in four countries, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Iceland, teachers' salaries have increased since mid-2010, while pay in Romania is now almost back to pre-crisis levels.

"Teachers play a vital role in the lives of children and, as everyone knows, can make all the difference to their future," said Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. "Teachers' remuneration and working conditions should be a top priority in order to attract and retain the best in the profession. But attracting the best teachers is not just about pay: it is imperative that classrooms are well-equipped and that teachers have a proper say on modernising curricula and education reforms."

The report shows that, from mid-2010, the economic crisis had taken its toll on teachers’ pay, with increasing numbers of countries cutting both salaries and allowances such as holiday pay and bonuses. Greece reduced teachers' basic salaries by 30% and stopped paying Christmas and Easter bonuses. Ireland cut salaries for new teachers by 13% in 2011 and those appointed after 31 January this year faced a further 20% drop in pay due to the abolition of qualification allowances. In Spain, salaries of teachers and other public sector employees were cut in 2010 by around 5% and not adjusted to inflation since; similar measures have been applied in Portugal.

In Europe, the maximum salary for senior teachers is generally twice as high as the minimum salary for newcomers. But considering it takes 15-25 years on average to earn the maximum salary, teaching organisations fear that young people may be discouraged from entering the profession.

While entry-level salaries for teachers tend to be unattractive, when allowances for additional responsibilities or overtime are taken into account, most are close to the maximum statutory pay level for teachers in many European countries. For example, in Latvia, actual take-home pay is nearly twice as high as the maximum basic salary. In Denmark, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Finland, England and Wales, take-home pay is also higher than the maximum basic salary when allowances are added. This can to some extent be explained by the fact that a relatively high share of teachers are in older age groups. Several countries are facing teacher shortages and have concerns over an ageing workforce ('Key Data on Education in Europe 2012', IP/12/121).

The Teachers' and School Heads' Salaries and Allowances in Europe 2011/12 report also reveals that while all countries claim that improving pupil and student performance levels is a top priority, only half of the countries covered in the report grant allowances to teachers based on positive teaching performance or student results (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom - England and Wales; Northern Ireland, and Turkey).

Background

Teachers' and school heads' salaries and allowances in Europe 2011/12

This annual report contains a comparative overview of salaries in 32 European countries (EU Member States, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Croatia and Turkey). It covers full-time, fully qualified teachers and school heads at pre-primary, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education levels.

The report includes information on:

  • Decision-making bodies responsible for fixing teachers' salaries;

  • Salaries in the private sector;

  • Minimum and maximum statutory salaries relative to GDP per capita and in relation to actual salaries (statutory salaries plus allowances);

  • Salary progression in relation to experience;

  • Latest increase/decrease in teachers purchasing power and the effect of the economic crisis;

  • Different types of allowances and the decision –making bodies responsible for their allocation.

Eurydice

The report is compiled for the European Commission by the Eurydice network, which provides analyses and information on European education systems and policies. The network consists of 38 national units based in the 34 countries which participate in the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme (EU Member States, Croatia, Serbia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). Serbia and Switzerland did not take part in the Teachers' and School Heads' Salaries and Allowances in Europe 2011/12 report. Eurydice is co-ordinated and managed by the EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.

For more information

The full report Teachers' and School Heads' Salaries and Allowances in Europe 2011/12, in English, is available here: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/facts_and_figures/salaries.pdf

European Commission: Education and training

Androulla Vassiliou's website

Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU

Contacts :

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58); Twitter: @DennisAbbott

Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)

Annexes

Figure 1: Evolution of teachers' and school heads' statutory salaries in absolute terms in the public sector in 2010/11 and 2011/12, compared with previous year

2010/11

2011/12

Increase due to
reform of salaries

Increase due to
specific adjustment for teachers

Only adjustment to
the cost of living

Salaries Frozen

Decrease

Country specific notes

Ireland: The salaries of the serving teachers in 2011/12 remained the same as in 2010/11. For new entrant teachers, appointed after 1st of January 2010, salaries were reduced by 10%. An additional reduction of 3.2% was applied to entrants after the 1st of December 2011.

France: The general indexation of the salaries was 0,5% in 2010 and there was no indexation in 2011 and in 2012. The freeze of salaries in 2011 and 2012 concerns the index point. In 2011 a first adjustment of salaries occurred for entry teachers at the bottom of the index scales. A second adjustment occurred in 2012. They both consisted in upgrading teachers at a higher index.

The Netherlands: Data not available

Figure 2: Minimum and maximum annual statutory gross salaries of full-time fully qualified teachers in public schools and average actual annual gross salaries of this category of teachers, in Euro Purchasing power standard (EURO PPS) (2011/12)

Primary Education

Lower Secondary education

Upper Secondary Education

Minimum Statutory salary

Maximum Statutory salary

Average Actual salary

Minimum Statutory salary

Maximum Statutory salary

Average Actual salary

Minimum Statutory salary

Maximum Statutory salary

Average Actual salary

Belgium (French Community)

25 815

44 483

:

25 815

44 483

:

32 120

56 286

:

Belgium (German speaking Community)

23 282

40 009

:

23 282

40 009

:

29 337

51 012

:

Belgium (Flemish Community)

26 262

45 507

37 805

26 262

45 507

37 457

32 812

57 625

49 229

Bulgaria

6 010

n.a.

10 405

6 010

n.a.

10 405

6 010

n.a.

10 405

Czech Republic

13 412

16 201

16 820

13 412

16 201

16 853

13 412

16 201

17 958

Denmark

29 640

35 741

46 152

29 640

35 741

46 152

30 307

39 114

56 336

Germany

38 395

51 168

:

42 873

56 864

:

46 374

63 944

:

Estonia

10 308

15 066

13 446

10 308

15 066

13 446

10 308

15 066

13 446

Ireland

25 430

54 272

:

25 430

54 272

:

25 430

54 272

:

Greece

15 327

27 990

22 213

15 327

27 990

22 213

15 327

27 990

22 213

Spain

30 061

42 625

:

33 662

47 190

:

33 662

47 190

:

France

20 649

39 385

25 227

23 029

41 898

25 227

23 219

42 107

25 227

Italy

22 394

32 924

26 359

24 141

36 157

28 257

24 141

37 799

29 568

Cyprus

29 614

64 839

:

29 614

64 839

:

29 614

64 839

:

Latvia

6 257

6 512

12 948

6 257

6 512

12 948

6 257

6 512

14 608

Lithuania

6 155

11 341

:

6 155

11 341

14 711

6 155

11 341

14 711

Luxembourg

54 600

96 343

75 471

63 358

110 132

86 745

63 358

110 132

86 745

Hungary

8 598

14 722

14 419

9 126

18 485

14 419

9 126

18 485

16 581

Malta

23 326

30 904

:

23 326

30 904

:

23 326

30 904

:

Netherlands

:

:

:

:

:

:

:

:

:

Austria (AHS)

26 426

50 738

:

29 074

61 181

52 308

29 074

61 181

52 308

Poland

9 021

14 992

22 170

10 159

17 092

22 506

11 484

19 562

21 998

Portugal

25 758

52 441

34 727

25 758

52 441

36 386

25 758

52 441

36 386

Romania

5 024

14 205

9 614

5 345

14 205

9 775

5 345

14 205

9 775

Slovenia

22 094

34 241

:

22 094

34 241

:

22 094

34 241

:

Slovakia

8 860

11 996

13 968

8 860

11 996

13 968

8 860

11 996

13 925

Finland

25 617

33 317

34 553

27 666

35 983

38 333

29 338

38 843

42 524

Sweden

22 439

31 188

26 762

22 439

31 188

26 762

24 394

33 452

28 923

United Kingdom (Eng, Wales)

24 430

41 594

41 304

24 430

41 594

44 134

24 430

41 594

44 134

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

24 430

41 594

38 040

24 430

41 594

41 635

24 430

41 594

41 635

United Kingdom (Scotland)

29 101

38 702

36 375

29 101

38 702

36 375

29 101

38 702

36 375

Liechtenstein (Gymnasium)

44 454

72 142

:

52 502

85 210

:

52 502

85 210

:

Norway

31 236

n.a.

37 537

31 236

n.a.

37 537

32 663

n.a.

40 213

Croatia

13 394

15 950

17 103

13 394

18 139

17 103

13 394

18 139

18 249

Iceland

21 983

27 465

:

21 983

27 465

:

27 089

36 044

29 110

Turkey

20 039

23 547

:

20 039

23 547

:

18 977

22 485

:

: Data not available n.a. Not applicable

Source: Eurydice

Country specific notes

Bulgaria: The teachers' statutes determine only the minimum basic statutory salary but not the maximum one. The indicated values are for junior teachers without teacher experience.

Germany: Data from 2010/11 school year.

Poland: Minimum and maximum teacher’s salaries for Primary and Lower secondary education are calculated for teachers with minimum full qualifications. However, approximately 90% of teachers have higher level of qualification and receive higher remuneration.

Norway: Teachers with 4/5 years of initial training;

Figure 3: Trends in the minimum basic gross annual statutory salary in PPS EURO (in 2000 prices) for teachers in primary and upper secondary education (ISCED 1 and ISCED 3), 2000-2012

Primary

Upper secondary

NB: X axis = Reference years; 2000 to 2012

Y axis = Relative percentage increase, Year 2000=100

Source: Eurydice.

Explanatory and Country specific notes

See the full report.


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