Estonian unions: Wages should rise 6 percent this year


 Going by the figures in the spring economic forecast released by the Finance Ministry on Thursday, the Estonian Trade Union Confederation (EAKL) says that wages and salaries should rise by at least 6 percent this year as well as the next for wage-workers to share in the economic success.

The labor organization advises employees not to accept a smaller pay increase. The recommendation is based on the fact that 6 percent covers the anticipated inflation and does not exceed the projected productivity growth. There are sectors where such a rise is harder to implement, forcing employers to reorganize production, which in turn will have a positive effect on economic development.

In some fields wages and salaries haven't been adjusted for years, so pay should rise more there. "Hence the message to employers: there is no point in putting off pay increases because they will begin to cumulate and become a threat to the stability of the economic environment," EAKL's secretary for wages and collective bargaining Kaja Toomsalu said. "Otherwise we'll be facing monstrous pay demands later on that are difficult to make up for subsequently. A good illustration is the years-long lag in teachers' pay."