The wage fund of culture professionals with higher education will increase by 3.3% in 2017. The government has therefore decided that culture, alongside teachers and workers in the fields of social welfare and internal security, is once again among the priorities of the state.
The increase in the wage fund will affect those culture professionals who receive their wages from the state budget. These are the employees of state authorities, public institutions, foundations and county libraries, whose wages are paid by the state. Namely those culture professionals who have a higher education degree, a higher level of professional qualifications or specific expertise that is equated to higher education.
The Minister of Culture Indrek Saar explained that the increase in the wage fund, which has been decided by the government, would allow for the minimum wage to be increased to an estimated 900 euros. “The state must raise the minimum wage significantly, otherwise we will fail to perform the commitments we have taken to carry out with the foundation document of cultural policy titled “The fundamentals of cultural policy until 2020<http://www.kul.ee/et/tegevused/kultuur-2020>”. The culture professionals’ expectation for a wage increase is completely justified,” said the Minister.
For now it is still too early to specify how the wage money will be distributed, as the Ministry of Culture will propose a way to distribute the wage fund at a meeting with heads of cultural establishments. This meeting will be held on October 11.
Last year’s increase in the wage fund of culture professionals made it possible to increase the minimum wage of culture professionals by 13.5%, to 830 euros as a monthly wage. The national support fund for covering the labour costs of coaches who belong to the higher professional category (5th-7th professional category) grew by the same percentage.
According to the foundation document of cultural policy, the income of culture professionals with higher education who work in full-time positions should reach the level of average wage in Estonia by 2020.