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Estonian teachers strike demanding pay hikes


Estonia

Estonian teachers strike demanding pay hikes

Teachers in Estonia have staged what commentators are calling the biggest strike in the country since World War Two.

They are calling for a 20 percent pay rise, complaining that following the cancellation of their 2009 rise, they are still being paid at 2008 rates.

Teachers’ salaries in Estonia are between 600 and 800 euros a month against average salaries of 865 euros a month.

Estonia, which adopted the euro at the start of 2011, was hit by a deep recession in 2009 and the government cut spending.

Last year it notched up one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union and teachers now want some of the benefit of that growth.

About 4,000 teachers held a protest in the centre of capital city Tallinn, while throughout the country, about 16,000 teachers were on strike.

The two day action is being supported by other unions.

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