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The ESFTUG’s President delivered her speech in several directions, including a great deal of space to the report about the activities implemented in the field of labor, social-economic, legal rights of employees in educational institutions and discussion of future initiatives.

"In the last four years, we can say that our strategy, which we have chosen to solve the problems of the employees in the form of constructive cooperation with the Ministry of Education, has justified. On the basis of the social dialogue with the Ministry of Education for the teachers’ labor, social-economic and legal rights protection, significant changes were made by the Ministry of Education initiated by our organization:

On December 16, 2016 and March 19, 2017 amendments were introduced to the Law of Georgia on General Education and to the Order of the Minister of Education, in particular the norm of the rule of disciplinary procedure on teacher’s action on non-working hours and on the outskirts of the school was abolished; 3 years of commencement of disciplinary proceedings have been reduced to 1 year; On June 16, 2017, "On Approval of the rule of assistance due to temporary disability", to the Order No.87/n of the Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs some standards for public school teachers were added, as a result, the teacher's hospital papers will be paid from full salaries, including additives. Before this amendments, only from remuneration was paid, without additives; On December 8, 2016, the amendment was made to the order #126/n of the Minister of Education on "setting minimum terms and conditions for reimbursement of teachers of public schools", as a result, a person with a 4-year higher pedagogical education, including 2000, instead of bachelor's degree, was awarded with a Master's degree and the remuneration also was awarded according to the Master's degree.

"Let's be thankful, let us remember that in 2013, in 3 years, public school teacher's salary increased in 3 stages and increased by 65%, for certified teachers, the status supplement was increased by 326%, and the leading teacher's supplement was determined by 700 GEL and the mentor’s by 1000 GEL. The class tutor’s supplement has increased by 65%. Mr. Mikheil Batiashvili's promise is also a hope, according to which the teacher's salary will be more than 1500 and for successful teachers it will be more than 2000 GEL.

If we analyze such dynamics of the increase of salaries, we will get the following picture: the basic salary of the teacher is 405 GEL, the average salary is 550 GEL, which is not half the average salary of the public sector employees. There are 22 mentors in the country, 374 leading and 20 260 senior teachers. As you know, teachers have been certified from 2010 and in 8 years we have received a result - 20 656 teachers with status supplement. In a word, the rest 37 283 teachers (without status 1669) continue to work in a difficult economic situation.

If we consider the fact that for professional growth, there is no intensive, compulsory system of retraining teachers and retraining is limited to only fragmented services, teachers face artificial and bureaucratic barriers in the process of implementation of the requirements of the professional development and career advancement scheme, then we will have the status raising and the salary increasing process will take decades. We are categorical against of solving teachers' payroll policies with these methods.

From February 2014 we offer government alternative project of solving teachers' payroll policies. "Develop a 3-4-year program of gradual growth of basic salary, according to estimates that the teacher's average salary will be equal to the average salary of the public sector employees and at the same time increase of the status and other supplements."

Our calculations are based on the economic condition of the state. Today, the country can do it. We talk about teachers and the same problems have public school administration and technical personnel. The time has come for us to be more active and we call on delegates of the congress, let us use the rights of trade union, given by the law, and fight for adequate, decent salary..."

I am deeply convinced that the main priority of the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Mr. Mikheil Batiashvili is the improvement of the labor and social-economic conditions of the teachers, including the increase of teachers' salaries, which have repeatedly mentioned in public speeches and personal conversations with me. We welcome this attitude, unfortunately, it is impossible to solve this global and current issue at the ministerial level. The executive and legislative authorities should take part in this process.

It is a difficult situation in preschool institutions, in terms of labor and socio-economic conditions of employed people. We were hoping for the launch of the Law on Early and Pre-school Education and as practice shows, the danger facing to the implementation of the demands of the law in connection to the payroll policy. Article 24 of the Law defines that "the basic margin of remuneration of the teacher shall be defined by the normative act of the Government of Georgia". We hope the Government of Georgia will take into consideration the different financial conditions of the municipalities and decide on the determination of a single wage policy, as there is no offense of the employees in pre-school institutions, the scarce budget of some municipalities.

We would like to express our gratitude to the Chairman of the "Georgian Dream - Social Democrats" Mr. Gia Zhorzholiani and the Human Rights Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, who gave us the opportunity to participate in the discussion of the draft law in 2015-2016, and the Parliament of Georgia shared our proposal, according to which the norm of cooperation with trade unions was added to the law of “early and pre-school education”, "Municipalities" assert the obligatory conditions of a labor contract concluded with a person employed in the institutions with possible consultation with the trade union.” This norms of law allowed us to stop the process of illegal dismissals in three municipalities.

Our organization is carrying out monitoring on the process of developing eight statutory acts, which the municipalities were obliged to perform.

According to the Law on Development of High Mountain Regions, 35% of social benefits and wage income are distributed to teachers employed in public schools of high mountain regions and does not include administrative / technical personnel of public schools and employed in pre-school institutions. We have already addressed to the "Georgian Dream-fraction Social-Democrats" with legislative proposal that the amendments should be made to the Law of Georgia on Development of High Mountainous Regions, according to which, social benefits should be established for the administration / technical personnel of the public schools of high mountain regions and for the employees in kindergartens.

One of the main achievements of our work is the fact that a new stage of cooperation between the trade union and the ministry began, in line with the requirements of the applicable legislation and international norms, on March 16, 2017, between the trade Union and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport was signed a Sectoral Agreement, which is the main document of mutual cooperation and provides solid guarantees for the protection of the rights of employees in educational institutions. Registration of the sectoral agreement does not mean that we do not have many unresolved problems with employers, but we are confident of the willingness of the government to cooperate with our organization and therefore to resolve the problems of the employees" – noted ESFTUG’s President Maia Kobakhidze in her speech.