A wage agreement signed between the government and TALO

At the very end of 2005, the government and the TALO trade union confederation finally managed to conclude a wage agreement for employees with higher education working in the public sector for 2006. It concerns rises in overall wage funds and wage conditions in domains of different ministries. The parties handle these minimum wage provisions as a collective agreement.

On 20 December 2005, the Estonian Employees’ Unions’ Confederation (Eesti Teenistujate Ametiliitude Keskorganisatsioon, TALO) (EE0308101F) and the government signed a wage agreement for the year 2006. TALO represents employees working in the fields of education, culture, media, agriculture, sports, science, technology and healthcare. The minimum wage for a TALO member with higher education who works full-time in a position requiring higher education, is EEK 6,500 per month since January 2006 (up from EEK 5,960 in 2005) (EE0501103N). Compared to 2005, the rise in the overall wage fund for 2006 is in different spheres on average 10%, taking into account the rise in the budget volume of different ministries. The parties agreed to handle the minimum wage provisions as a collective agreement and it will be registered in the Register of collective agreements. Handling an agreement as collective agreement means that the members of TALO should keep an industrial peace.

TALO and the government started the negotiations over wage agreement for 2006 in March 2005. TALO demanded a pay rise of 15% (up to EEK 6,859) for its members and declared that the minimum wage for its members with higher education should be at the level of national average wage. Ministry of Finance (Rahandusministeerium) forecasts that the average monthly wage is EEK 8,309 per month in 2006. In 2001, TALO and the government concluded an agreement that stipulates that the minimum wage for employees with higher education who work full-time in a position requiring higher education should be equal to the national average wage forecast by the Ministry of Finance for the same year. In December 2003, TALO held a one-day strike to support its demands for pay increases for education and culture workers and protest at the government’s public sector wage policy (EE0312103F, EE0311103F).

In general, TALO is pleased with the agreement, although it did not achieve its main goal that the minimum wage should be at the level of forecasted national average wage for the same year. TALO was disappointed in the unions of local municipalities as they did not want to participate in the negotiations. The municipalities are represented by the Association of Estonian Cities (Eesti Linnade Liit, ELL) and the Association of Municipalities of Estonia (Eesti Maaomavalitsuste Liit, EMOL). In March 2005, TALO turned to the public conciliator (EE0501104F) asking for help in involving the municipalities in the negotiations. The main argument why the unions of local municipalities did not want to participate in the negotiations was that 26 out of 241 municipalities had not joined either with ELL or EMOL. This, however, has resulted that there exist, for example, large gaps in minimum wage rates of teachers (EE0505101N). This is due to the fact that the government has not specified the minimum wage rates for teachers already since 2003 and therefore the local authorities distribute financial resources between schools using their own discretion.

This information is made available through the European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO), as a service to users of the EIROnline database. EIRO is a project of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. However, this information has been neither edited nor approved by the Foundation, which means that it is not responsible for its content and accuracy. This is the responsibility of the EIRO national centre that originated/provided the information. For details see the "About this record" information in this record.

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