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Teachers earn nearly three times as much as average Cypriot

TEACHERS in Cyprus earn nearly three times as much as the average Cypriot, a new study shows

In most EU countries the maximum salary for teachers at all education levels is higher than per capita GDP, and after Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the rate is 327 per cent, the highest rate is in Cyprus with 282 per cent.

The maximum a head of a school can earn annually in Cyprus is €71,359 which teachers can earn after 22 years of employment, while the minimum entry salary is €23,885. These are the results of a new study published by European Education Information Network Eurydice titled “Teachers’ and School Heads’ Salaries and Allowances in Europe 2015/16”.

Cyprus is one of the countries where secondary-school teachers are paid the same as primary school teachers, but heads of secondary schools earn more than primary school directors. In general, school heads are paid higher than other teachers in all EU countries. According to the study, in most countries this is due to the fact that they are usually teachers with several years of professional experience and have management responsibilities.

In Cyprus, primary school heads’ basic salaries are based on salary scale A12 and annual increments. Secondary school heads’ basic salaries are based on salary scale A13.

There are considerable differences among countries regarding the percentage increase from lowest to highest salaries and the length of service it takes to earn the highest amount.

A low percentage increase (50 per cent or less) is not necessarily linked to a short length of service, and it can require between six and 40 years to achieve it depending on the country. While teachers in some countries may get the maximum statutory salary relatively early in their careers (Northern Ireland, Scotland and Denmark), in many countries it can take them more than 30 years. After Romania, Cyprus has the biggest percentage change between the lowest and highest possible salaries with more than 140 per cent and is the country where teachers get this salary fastest, within 22 years.

A wage freeze for public employees in Cyprus which affected teachers’ salaries started at the beginning of 2013 and is, according to the Eurydice report, expected to end in 2017.

There are huge variances in how much teachers earn in EU countries. The lowest amounts are paid in Bulgaria, with the minimum annual wage for teachers being €3,681 and the maximum for a head of school €7,547. At the other end of the scale is Luxembourg with a range from €72,000 to €156,000.

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