The government aims to spend a total of 1,200 billion forints (EUR 3bn) on raising teachers’ wages between now and 2025, covering half of the amount from domestic resources and the other half from EU funds, the state secretary in charge of public education said in Eger, in northern Hungary, on Tuesday. “The government also sees clearly the need for a significant wage increase in the public education sector,” Zoltán Maruzsa told the 24th conference of national public education and vocational training experts. He said that in a new development, European Union funds are available for implementing the measure in the framework of the 2021-2027 EU funding cycle. “We need that because the cabinet has limited financial resources to use particularly now, in the current utility costs situation,” Maruzsa said. “It is now hard for the cabinet to see how many thousands of billions of forints it will need to burn up in the coming months by paying for gas bills that it did not have to cover last year.”
Citing projected costs by the Klebelsberg school manager centre, Maruzsa noted that heating public schools was expected to cost 225 billion forints more in the coming winter season than last year’s 26 billion. The state secretary underlined the importance of “involving EU funds to supplement domestic resources for settling the wages of teachers”, noting the government’s plans to raise teachers’ wages to 80% of the average salary of university graduates by 2025. He said it meant that teachers would be likely to earn 777,000 forints on average in 2025, up from their current monthly salary of 440,000 forints. Wages may be raised in a first phase by 10% this year, Maruzsa added.