TEACHERS in Cyprus have more spending power than their colleagues in the rest of Europe despite reductions in their salaries due to the economic crisis that led to an 8.5 per cent reduction in relation to 2009, a European Commission report said on Saturday.
The report, Teachers’ and Schoolheads’ Salaries and Allowances in Europe, noted that the statutory salary for teachers who begin working in primary and lower secondary education is lower than the national per capital GDP in about three quarters of the 33 countries surveyed. The survey covered teachers and school heads in preschool, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education for the period 2013 and 2014.
The research suggests that although the maximum salaries of teachers at all levels of education (primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education) are higher than per-capita GDP in most European countries, Cyprus has the highest rate as wages of senior teachers for all levels of education amounts to 306 per cent of per-capita GDP.
The statuary salary for teachers in Cyprus was recorded at €39,837 for pre-primary education, €39,297 for primary and €40,077 for secondary education.
With regard to salaries of schoolheads, the average statutory salary was €60,267 in primary schools and €70,695 in secondary education.
During 2013 and 2014, teachers’ salaries rose in the majority of European countries, mainly due to cost of living adjustments. However, the spending power in many countries remained below 2009 levels.
During the reported period, teachers’ salaries increased in 16 European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, France, Croatia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Slovakia, Finland, Great Britain, Norway, FYROM, Turkey).
In Cyprus, the imposition of a 10 per cent reduction in the salaries of the broader public sector in 2013 led to a reduction in basic minimum salary of teachers by 8.5 per cent compared to 2009. The largest decrease in teachers’ spending power was recorded in Greece, which reached 40%.
According to the survey, teachers in Cyprus, as in Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Sweden, Britain, the FYROM and Liechtenstein do not receive any remuneration for overtime work. It is also noted that Cypriot teachers are not eligible for any allowances since January 2013 due to the economic crisis.